Last offseason, the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets were the finalists for Trevor Bauer, who somehow managed to convince both franchises that he’s worth at least $80 million over two years.
The Dodgers ended up taking the bait, signing the Mickey Mouse Cy Young winner and aspiring professional internet troll to a head-scratching three-year, $102 million contract, which made Bauer the highest-paid player in the game on an average annual value basis … despite the fact his career ERA was right around the 4.00 mark.
Turns out, that was the best possible outcome for the Mets, who indirectly and unintentionally got the upper hand again when Bauer was all but officially exiled from the game when multiple sexual assault allegations came to light.
The Dodgers being saddled to that contract, coupled with some injuries to their starting rotation, forced the front office to make an impact move at the trade deadline. They traded for Max Scherzer and hoped his two-month stay in LA would convince him to remain in LA long-term.
The Dodgers getting owned by the Mets in the Max Scherzer chase is brutal.
In a fairly incomprehensible turn of events, the Mets were leading the chase for Scherzer in free agency on Sunday night and are reportedly finalizing a three-year deal for more than $40 million per season. Former GM Jim Bowden really wasn’t lying when he said it might take $50 million per year to land the three-time Cy Young winner.
Could the Dodgers have offered that? Sure … but it would’ve been A LOT easier if they weren’t on the hook for Bauer’s $45 million in 2022 … which the team will have a difficult time voiding even if he’s charged/found guilty of a crime as we wait on a decision from the district attorney’s office.
Throw in Andrew Friedman’s likely desire to retain guys like Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager, Chris Taylor and Kenley Jansen, and you’re looking at a much bigger issue.
Hindsight is always 20/20, but Bauer’s deal at the time wasn’t exactly well received. And many would argue the Dodgers picked the exact wrong player to go “all in” with. Bauer had a history of questionable character issues and his pitching took a massive leap after what we can assume was an uptick in the use of foreign substances — not to mention the fact he only had a consistent stretch of 38 starts (out of 205) where he appeared to be better than a No. 4 starter.
And to think all of this has cost them Max Scherzer because they’ll be paying his supposed salary to a guy who may never take the field in MLB ever again. Who would’ve known Bauer trolling the Mets and bailing for LA would be the best thing to ever happen to them?