Trevor Bauer Chooses LA Dodgers with New Social Media Video
The wait is finally over for baseball's best free agent pitcher. After narrowing his list of teams down to the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers, Trevor Bauer decided to return home to Southern California.
Bauer made the announcement in a produced 2:26 video that he wrote and shared on his social media accounts.
The 30-year old righthander won the National League Cy Young Award in 2020 while pitching for the Cincinnati Reds. He went 5-4 with a 1.73 ERA during the pandemic shortened season with a WHIP of 0.79 and 100 strikeouts compared to just 17 walks. He chronicled his entire free agent journey on his Twitter account and even released a video on his YouTube channel explaining what he was looking for when choosing his next team.
Bauer is the first star athlete to take advantage of social media's video platform and share his thoughts with anyone who will listen. The former UCLA star is not shy when it comes to expressing his opinion, and his agent Rachel Luba does the same. She is a former UCLA gymnast who later became a sports agent and now represents a number of MLB players and coaches along with softball players. Bauer was her first client that she signed a little more than a year ago, and like the star pitcher, Luba is extremely active on social media.
From a baseball standpoint, the defending World Series champs are once again in the driver's seat with a ridiculous pitching rotation that also features Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, David Price, Julio Urias, Dustin May, and Tony Gonsolin. In fact, they now have a surplus of starters which means that May or Gonsolin could become the team's new closer when they move on from Kenley Jansen.
Barring injury, Bauer will spend the next two seasons in LA and collect $85 million and he can then opt out of his third year ($17 million) and go through free agency all over again. He does have an opt-out after the 2021 season, but I would be shocked if he leaves the $45 million guaranteed for another contract.
The addition of Bauer puts a big dent into the San Diego Padres chances of dethroning the Dodgers. General manager A.J. Preller overhauled his starting pitching this offseason by adding Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, and Joe Musgrove to the staff that already has Dinelson Lamet and Chris Paddack. They also traded for Mike Clevinger, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery. The Pads were poised to make a run at the Dodgers and they still might, although LA's pitching is now probably better on paper than any starting rotation in the history of the game.
As for the Mets, they lose out on Bauer after they offered him a more lucrative overall contract than the Dodgers. However, new owner Steve Cohen was not prepared to pay the free agent $85 million over the first two years of the contract like the Dodgers. It also means that the Mets will have more money for long term contracts to guys like Francisco Lindor, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, and Michael Conforto.