Guardians, ace Bieber agree to $6 million contract for 2022
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Cleveland Guardians ace Shane Bieber avoided salary arbitration when he agreed to a $6 million, one-year contract on Tuesday.
Bieber’s deal completed a day in which Cleveland signed all seven of its arbitration-eligible players: Bieber, shortstop Amed Rosario ($4.95 million), slugger Franmil Reyes ($4.55 million), catcher Austin Hedges ($4 million), starter Cal Quantrill ($2.51 million), and outfielders Bradley Zimmer ($1.3 million) and Josh Naylor ($1.2 million).
Bieber made $679,700 last season, when he was sidelined for three months with a strained shoulder muscle. The 2020 AL Cy Young Award winner has said he’s open to signing a long-term deal with the Guardians.
Team president Chris Antonetti has indicated the Guardians could have talks with Bieber about a new contract. However, Bieber is arbitration-eligible for two more seasons so there’s no urgency to get it done quickly.
Rosario was one of Cleveland’s most consistent offensive players last season, batting .282 with 11 homers and 57 RBIs in 141 games. It was the 26-year-old’s first season with the Guardians after coming over from the Mets in the Francisco Lindor trade.
Rosario made $2.4 million last season.
The biggest bat in Cleveland’s lineup, Reyes hit 30 homers and drove in 85 runs despite being limited to 115 games in 2021 due to a strained left oblique muscle.
Hedges doesn’t do much at the plate but he’s solid behind it. He’s taking over as the starter after the Guardians chose not to pick up Roberto Pérez’s option. He threw out 24% of base stealers last season.
Quantrill went 8-3 with a 2.79 ERA last season, giving Cleveland a major lift after Bieber and Aaron Civale went down with injuries. The 27-year-old right-hander is expected to begin ’22 in the rotation.
Zimmer has been dogged by injuries for several seasons. He stayed healthy enough last year to play 99 games, the most since his 2017 rookie season. He batted .227 with eight homers, 35 RBIs and 15 stolen bases.
Naylor broke his left leg in a violent outfield collision in June. He’s almost fully recovered and gives the Guardians versatility and a spark. He can also play first base and fill in at DH.
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