The Mets and Dodgers may very well be the finalists for Trevor Bauer.
Are the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets really going to end up the finalists in the Trevor Bauer chase? After all of this posturing, the talk of one-year deals, and the extreme “Anaheim” vibes the controversial righty emanates?
We don’t know how to feel.
According to the latest chatter, it seems we might be reaching the finish line soon. The Angels, by all accounts, have bowed out, their front office still unswayed by an Arte Moreno whim.
Now, it seems Bauer’s market — Mystery Team not included — is down to the New York Mets, weighing a 3-to-4 year offer that will knock Steve Cohen over the luxury tax threshold (post-Robinhood), and the Dodgers, the proverbial “last team at the bar” that Jeff Passan still thinks can nab Bauer short-term.
So, what’ll it be?
Would the Dodgers really entertain three, or even four, years for Bauer, someone looking at an AAV in Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg’s range?
If Los Angeles ultimately didn’t win the bidding for Cole himself, why would they extend themselves similarly for a pitcher with far less consistency under his belt? The owner of a 6.39 ERA in the half-season he spent in Cincinnati prior to his 2020 showcase, something Bauer has never done in a full stadium?
Also, there’s, uh, that whole thing where Bauer’s spent the past two years trying to “build a brand” as the “eternally online ballplayer” in an effort to make you forget about the years of needlessly petty online harassment he created and championed.
The Padres have spent their offseason building around different arms. Per Heyman, they were once in, but can no longer be considered among the members of this derby.
It made perfect sense for Bauer to be Anaheim’s splurge.
But if the Angels were unwilling to make it happen, then suddenly there aren’t many teams left at this dance. Either the Dodgers or the Mets will have to blink and buck their core stated values — New York’s attempt to stay below the tax this year, and the Dodgers’ propensity to avoid high-dollar rotation commitments to imperfect candidates with so much else still on the table.
Who blinks first? Who blinks last? Does anyone blink?