MLB guru Peter Gammons helpfully connects dots between Yankees, Shane Bieber

Oh! Well, that's nice to think about.
Los Angeles Dodgers v Cleveland Guardians
Los Angeles Dodgers v Cleveland Guardians / John E. Moore III/GettyImages

The Yankees received positive news from Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Gerrit Cole's elbow on Thursday night, but even that positive update involves Cole missing several months in a World Series or bust season -- and that's if the rest and rehab works. Needless to say, the Yankees could still use a starter or two.

At the deadline. Before Opening Day. In a box. With a fox. The Yankees could use additional pitching depth at any point during the season, and adding a familiar name would be an easy way to strengthen a current pain point. Hopefully, that's where Shane Bieber and the Cleveland Guardians come in.

No word yet on how the Guards perceive themselves, but Bieber, coming off a difficult season, certainly raised his personal profile (and velocity) with his offseason workouts. Presumably, the Yankees were all over him this offseason, but the fact that all they were able to work out with the Guardians was a Cody Morris-Estevan Florial swap indicates that either Cleveland wasn't ready to surrender just yet, or that Bieber's barking elbow was a chief concern (at any price).

After all, nobody outside of Cleveland knows Bieber better than the Yankees' Matt Blake, who coached him with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox of the Cape Cod League (!), then helped bring him to Cleveland, back when his pitching lab was located adjacent to the Cuyahoga. If the Guardians fall out of the Central race -- or don't, and just feel like cutting bait on walk year pitchers midseason and replacing them -- you'd have to imagine Blake will be able to get the skinny on his long-time pupil and report the truth to Brian Cashman.

You know, the truth. Otherwise known as "the opposite of what Frankie Montas told the Yankees about his shoulder when they acquired him".

Yankees know trade deadline target Shane Bieber better than any non-Guardians team

Of course, this swings both ways. The Yankees have extensive experience with Bieber, and yet weren't able to pursue an offseason trade, or really come close. Was Cleveland guarding him closely, or do the Yankees and Blake simply know enough about his current condition (yes, even post-Driveline) to be disinterested? Sometimes, being an insider can prevent a deal, not facilitate one.

Regardless, Gammons connecting the dots was a helpful reminder that the Yankees have some variation on a leg up this summer if Cleveland comes calling. If they don't find a match, it would seem likely that the Guardians' price was just too prohibitive (or their dink-and-dunk season went differently than most anticipate it will, even in an up-for-grabs division).

Not for nothing, but they also happen to have some slugging outfielders, something Cleveland's been seeking for seemingly decades and would now be able to pair nicely with Chase DeLauter. Everson Pereira, this first half is exceedingly important for you, whether the target is Bieber, childhood Yankee fan Triston McKenzie, or some pitcher who's yet to emerge as even a dream option.

Otherwise, the Yankees might have to dip into another Cape Cod League star they really don't want to trade, especially for a rental: Spencer Jones.