3 ways Dodgers can spend Trevor Bauer’s money in 2022
By Adam Weinrib
1. Robbie Ray, Eddie Rosario, and a Little Treat?
The biggest pitching name on the free agent market this year, long-term? Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander have the recognition and pedigree, but in terms of “big bets” moving forward, Ray will probably get the most security.
Not at a sky high price, though. Sure, he’s about to win the Cy Young Award in the AL, but he’s only shown us one year of heightened control (1.045 WHIP after mostly living in the 1.3s during his previous full seasons). Does six years, $120 million sound right? That’s just $20 million annually.
Ray sounds like a luxury item, but … even if he turns to dust a little bit, the Dodgers are one of very few teams that can afford to pay for the regression. They need high-strikeout arms that can soak innings. This rotation, against all odds, isn’t just an ace away. If Ray is a 3.5-WAR pitcher in 2022 instead of a 6+-WAR guy, that won’t torpedo the Dodgers’ plans. It’ll still be valuable.
As for the other $12 million? How about two years and $24 million for Eddie Rosario, which would really rub things in the Braves’ faces? With the universal DH likely coming to the National League, too, Rosario could start ~130 games a year in left/right/the bat-only spot. If you’re able to secure him for slightly less money, maybe the runoff goes to a bullpen piece like Daniel Hudson or Mychal Givens on the super cheap?
Bottom line, there are plenty of ways to spend this money, all of which would help Los Angeles’ depth more than the person it’s currently ticketed towards.