Jeff Passan thinks Dodgers are Trevor Bauer favorites under one condition

The Los Angeles Dodgers might be fresh off winning a championship, but that hasn’t stopped them from being somewhat active in the offseason free agent market, as their name has frequently been linked to some of the biggest available players in the sport as well as some more cost-effective options. While the Dodgers once seemed like a long shot for Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer, the reigning champs remain very much in play for his services.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan claims that the Dodgers are the “last one at the bar at 2:00 AM” with regards to their pursuit of Bauer, patiently waiting to pounce on him if other teams start to give up on him. Passan says that if the Dodgers offer him a short-term deal, the former UCLA star could head back home, citing his competitive drive and desire to win a championship.

Trevor Bauer could add to an already stacked Dodgers rotation.

Much has been made about Bauer’s inconsistency on the mound, but he could not have picked a better time to author the best season of his career. While he pitched just 73 innings in the shortened season, Bauer posted a 1.73 ERA with the Reds, winning the Cy Young Award and placing 10th in MVP voting. While he only had one season with an ERA below 4.18 during his long tenure with the Cleveland Indians, Bauer seems destined to cash in this offseason.

Bauer, who has previously mentioned that he would be interested in constantly taking one-year deals in order to keep pitching with championship contenders before slightly reneging on that promise, would join a Dodgers rotation that already features stars like Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler. With David Price likely opting back into the 2021 season after sitting out in 2020, LA’s already formidable rotation just got even nastier.

Not only would signing Bauer, who has been frequently linked to the Mets, mercifully bring an end to his nonstop hinting on social media, but it would only reinforce the Dodgers’ claim to the best starting rotation in baseball as they chase yet another NL pennant. Even if they can only get him for a year or two, he is worth chasing.

As of Thursday morning, the Angels are out. As Passan might say, the bar just got a little emptier.