UPDATE: Trevor Bauer has since signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers
The market for former Reds’ ace Trevor Bauer has heated up in recent days, as the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers have emerged as the frontrunners to land the hard-throwing right-hander.
Bauer, 30 years old, has been staunch in his negotiations, as he and agent Rachel Luba have been ‘active’ on social media during this free agency period — much to many people’s dismay.
Bauer’s arrogance has turned many franchises away from the reigning NL Cy Young winner, with negotiations stalling in what has been a slow offseason in MLB.
Seeking a record-breaking contract, it is likely Bauer will have to settle for less than his initially desired length of 5-6 years, which will, in turn, land him a higher AAV (average annual value) hovering around the $35-$40 million threshold.
Whatever the case may be, expect this year’s most coveted free agent to reach a deal sometime this month, as it’s being reported that owner Steve Cohen and the Mets have made a formal offer and expect to hear back from the right-hander within the next 24 hours.
Why The Mets Make Sense for Bauer
Per MLB Network insider, Jon Heyman, the New York Metropolitans have been most engaged with Bauer this offseason, and are hoping to have an answer — one way or another — by tomorrow.
Although the Amazins’ already boast one of the league’s top rotations in baseball, Bauer would bring this pitching staff to another level.
After trading Steven Matz to Toronto to clear up additional cap space, the Mets will start 2021 with two-time Cy Young award winner Jacob deGrom to go along with a newly re-signed Marcus Stroman, recent trade acquisition Carlos Carrasco, and some combination of David Peterson, Joey Luchessi and Jordan Yamamoto.
Also, Noah Syndergaard, who missed all of last season with Tommy John surgery, is expected to return sometime in June.
Having deGrom, Bauer, Stroman, and Syndergaard come the summer will surely be one of the most explosive rotations in recent memory, but will also certainly raise some questions regarding Stroman and Syndergaard’s future with the organization.
Both are free agents upon season’s end, in addition to five tool RF Michael Conforto, who is expected to receive a hefty contract extension at one point or another.
Nevertheless, the Mets are focused on maximizing their current World Series window, and signing Bauer should be a no brainer for a franchise hoping to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
Cohen shouldn’t be gun shy to break the bank on this one.
What About the Dodgers?
If there’s one thing we know, it’s that Los Angeles is not afraid to make a splash when it comes to acquiring superstar talent.
After giving up a king’s ransom to trade for former Red Sox OF Mookie Betts last offseason, the Dodgers found themselves getting massive returns on their investment — cashing in a World Series title for the first time since 1988.
It is still unclear how over the luxury tax LA is willing to go, but with very little interest around the league sans the Mets, they might be able to grab Bauer, the Hollywood native, at a bit of a hometown discount.
Who Will Land Trevor Bauer?
With an abundance of riches already, this move would catapult the Dodgers light years ahead in what has become a competitive NL West, as their crosstown rival San Diego Padres have been unequivocally aggressive this offseason — landing pitchers Blake Snell, Yu Darvish, and Joe Musgrove.
With both New York and Los Angeles nearing gargantuan payrolls to begin the 2021 season, it will be fascinating to see how Bauer’s market develops as we inch closer and closer to Spring Training.
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