Yankees' trade deadline options dwindle further with Guardians injury bombshell

The dream is d
Cleveland Guardians v Seattle Mariners
Cleveland Guardians v Seattle Mariners / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

The New York Yankees could use an additional starter to supplement their hot start, and a little familiarity between Matt Blake and said addition couldn't hurt.

Unfortunately for all parties involved, the offseason frontrunner for the role -- Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Guardians -- is now unavailable, no matter which twists and turns Cleveland's season takes from hereon out.

It was announced on Saturday that, after battling elbow issues in 2023, the integrity of Bieber's elbow couldn't sustain his own hot start, during which he racked up 20 strikeouts in 12 scoreless frames.

Instead of witnessing the beginning of a Cy Young campaign, Guardians fans (and interested parties throughout the league) were instead witness to another sad reality of modern baseball. For every bounce back, there is an equal and opposite possibility of season-ending surgery. Pitching has never been more dangerous. Now, the Guardians' season sits at a precarious point, but one of the more intriguing trade possibilities -- if things went sideways in Cleveland -- is no longer an option.

Yankees trade deadline target Shane Bieber headed for Tommy John surgery

Silver lining (eye roll...)? The Yankees now have a chance to sign Bieber to some sort of backloaded deal and secure him for the second half of 2025; he'll be entering free agency at the worst possible time, and it's difficult not to feel for him, having already given so much without receiving just rewards.

Without Bieber on the trade market, the Yankees will likely turn their attention to the Marlins (Jesus Luzardo, AJ Puk, Ryan Weathers), as well as a few other Cleveland starters with more control (Triston McKenzie, Logan Allen). Perhaps the Angels will fall off far enough to open up trade talks surrounding Reid Detmers?

With more contenders than ever, due to the expanded postseason, it was already going to be difficult enough for the Yankees to find a trade match, given the fact that all contenders seem likely to circle the Marlins and start an historic bidding war. That's why Bieber made so much sense, as Peter Gammons helpfully pointed out just a few weeks ago.

No wonder the Yankees' offseason pursuit of the righty petered out so quickly. The integrity of his right elbow must've been more than just a question mark.