Dodgers: Max Scherzer trade proves Trevor Bauer was never needed
No, we’re not comparing Max Scherzer to Trevor Bauer. One is the class of MLB and a future Hall of Famer. The other is an infamous internet troll more known for battling the league on wardrobe rules.
What we can, however, is look at Scherzer’s short stint with the Los Angeles Dodgers and help everyone realize — yet again! — that Bauer’s signing was never necessary.
It should’ve never happened. The organization enabled one of the biggest pariahs in sports for reasons we’ll never understand.
At NO point was Bauer worth a recording-setting contract in terms of average annual value.
He won the Cy Young award in a shortened season, which featured just 11 starts and (likely) a whole lot of foreign substance usage. Before those 11 starts, the 30-year-old right-hander owned a career 4.04 ERA. His childish behavior got him excommunicated from Cleveland, of all places.
But the Dodgers got greedy. They wanted to “go for it all” even though there were a number of other ways to go about making such a statement. Luckily, they got a second chance thanks to the Nationals falling off the map and selling at the trade deadline. That’s how Scherzer fell into their laps.
Dodgers’ Max Scherzer trade proved Trevor Bauer signing never had to happen.
And even so, Scherzer’s only been here for nine starts. The Dodgers are the second-best team in baseball. The three-time Cy Young winner has helped out that cause, but he’s contributed minimally when you look at the big picture.
The Dodgers’ foundation and DNA was always there. These are the guys with an eight-year streak of winning the NL West. They’ve had Bauer and Clayton Kershaw for a combined 35 starts this season. If Bauer was never on this team, it probably would’ve never mattered! The Dodgers went just 8-9 in his 17 starts.
While Scherzer is now essential given the circumstances, his dominance has further made the team’s decision to sign Bauer look more and more asinine by the day. The Dodgers clearly could’ve gotten by with someone like Taijuan Walker or Charlie Morton before addressing the rotation at the trade deadline … which they did anyway and were probably always going to do, considering how rare it is all five of your starters remain healthy for the entirety of a 162-game season.
Instead, the Dodgers made a $102 million mistake, which looms even larger when you realize the only other team bidding for Bauer was the New York Mets. Somehow, with Bauer as the lone “star” pitcher in free agency accompanied by an ever-shrinking market, LA paid an exorbitant price for someone who put together one full season of worthwhile performances.
And then had to deal with irreversible image issues because they failed to take his online harassment allegations more seriously and somehow couldn’t uncover him being accused of sexual assault by an Ohio woman in June of 2020.
The Bauer problem might be out of the locker room for now, but it will have its lasting effects and provide much more of a distraction than many are anticipating.