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NY Mets: 10 best free agents for Steve Cohen to buy this winter

Sep 22, 2020; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Justin Wilson (38) pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the seventh inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 22, 2020; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Justin Wilson (38) pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the seventh inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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Sep 30, 2020; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Trevor Bauer (27) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the fifth inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

1) Trevor Bauer

Trevor Bauer would fill the biggest hole the Mets have. Their rotation outside of Jacob deGrom and David Peterson was awful. The team expects Noah Syndergaard back at some point, but who knows when that will be. With three spots wide open in the rotation, if the Mets wanted to compete, it would behoove them to sign a legitimate number two starter to go after Jacob deGrom. Bauer certainly fits that bill.

Bauer likely will win the 2020 National League Cy Young Award, ending deGrom’s streak at two consecutive Cy Young’s. Bauer went 5-4 with a 1.73 ERA in 11 starts for the Reds, striking out 100 batters in 73 innings pitched. In his career, he boasts an ERA of 3.90 in 195 games started and 1,190 innings pitched.

In 2018, Bauer finished sixth in the American League Cy Young Award voting after going 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA in 175.1 innings pitched. After a step back in 2019, Bauer seemed to have righted the ship in 2020. The 30-year old is in his prime and will be paid like the star pitcher he is. But the question is, what kind of contract will he demand?

Early this season, Bauer said he was only open to one-year deals. A big reason why is because he wants to be happy and to be contending every year. By signing a long-term deal, his happiness and team success is more in the organization’s hands than his own. This was said before he put up a Cy Young caliber season. Will he still only seek one-year deals? My guess would be no. It’s very hard to pass on hundreds of millions of dollars which Bauer will certainly fetch in a multi-year deal.

On Twitter, his agent tweeted out that “we are open to and will be considering ALL types of deals.” If he seeks a long-term deal, Bauer will likely get something similar to what Stephen Strasburg got last offseason, seven years, $245 million dollars. When that number was floated around, a source close to Steve Cohen said “For a headache? Forget that.”

While Bauer can be a headache at times, I do think he’s very fun to watch and cares deeply about winning baseball games. Watching his vlogs on the Momentum YouTube channel, I got a glimpse at the fun guy he is and how much he loves the game. He wants to take the ball on short rest (as he did in one start this season). He wants to put the team on his back and win games. In his one playoff start this season, Bauer shut out the high-powered Braves offense for 7.2 innings allowing just two hits and striking out 12.

No-brainer roster decisions for the Mets this winter. Next

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Will Bauer be the all-star pitcher he’s capable of being for the entirety of a seven-year deal? Probably not. But is it still worth it? Absolutely. The Mets need pitching and shouldn’t be afraid to spend money now that Steve Cohen will be here. The new Mets president Sandy Alderson built his teams around pitching, and he can do that again by signing Bauer to pair with an already very solid lineup.

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