Terry Francona Comments on Potential Shane Bieber Contract Extension
Now that he's recovered from his rough start to Spring Training, Terry Francona is back to business for the Cleveland Guardians.
Francona fielded questions from reporters on Friday morning as the team prepares for its first Spring Training game against the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday. One question that came up was about a potential contract extension for Shane Bieber.
Francona had this to say:
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The veteran manager conceded that while he'd love to keep Bieber around, contracts are out of his control and not something he can afford to worry about.
Fortunately for Francona and the Guardians, Bieber is still under team control for two more years. The 2020 AL Cy Young winner is set to remain Cleveland's ace this year after going 13-8 with a 2.88 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP in 31 starts last season.
If the Guardians are interested in locking up Bieber long-term, however, it's probably something they should start discussing. He'll be less likely to sign an extension next year, when he's only one season away from free agency, and if he reaches the open market he's as good as gone. The team already lowballed him during extension talks last year, so he might not be too open to negotiation talks anymore.
Time will tell if Cleveland makes another push to extend Bieber this year, but the front office better be prepared to offer significantly more money this time around.