Bieber, 28 in May, has spent his entire career in the Cleveland organization thus far, having been drafted by them in 2016. He made it to the big leagues by 2018 and was able to throw 114 2/3 innings with a 4.55 ERA. He took things up a notch the next year with a 3.28 ERA over 214 1/3 innings, striking out 30.2% of batters faced and walking only 4.7% of them.
In the 2020 season, Bieber went to incredible heights, registering a tiny 1.63 ERA for the season while striking out 41.1% of batters faced. His 3.2 wins above replacement from FanGraphs led all pitchers in the league. He won the American League Cy Young and came fourth in AL MVP voting.
Of course, that was the pandemic-shortened campaign and Bieber was never going to replicate those numbers over a full season. He was due for some regression in 2021 but also had to deal with a right shoulder subscapularis muscle strain that forced him to miss about three months. Nonetheless, he still posted a 3.17 ERA over 16 starts. In 2022, he stayed healthy and made 32 starts with a 2.88 ERA, keeping his walks to a tiny 4.6% rate while striking out 25% of opponents and getting ground balls at a 48.2% clip. He also made a couple of strong starts in the postseason to finish the year off.
Bieber has been highly-coveted by fans of other clubs given his tremendous success and the Guardians reportedly have some degree of openness to a deal. But nothing has come together so far, with Bieber sticking around as the ace of the Cleveland staff. He qualified for arbitration for the first time in 2022 and got a raise to $6MM. He’ll now bump just a hair above $10MM but just below the $10.7MM projection from MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz. He will be eligible for one more trip through the arb process in 2024 but is slated to reach free agency after that campaign.