If the New York Mets are able to wrangle in Trevor Bauer he may end up as one of the best free agent starting pitchers the team has ever signed.
Earlier this month on Rising Apple, I made a list of the best free agent starting pitchers in New York Mets history. The list included some very talented players. Several had Hall of Fame careers and one ended up winning a Cy Young with the Mets.
All five of those men had good careers in New York. However, if the Mets were to sign Trevor Bauer this winter, I think we would expect a whole lot more from him.
The Mets haven’t been especially fantastic at signing free agent pitchers. Many of their greats came up through the system. Rarely have they found a mercenary on the open market.
Bauer is different. Everything about this offseason is. Steve Cohen has the money to do things this organization hasn’t done before. One of them is to put an orange and blue cap on Bauer and watch as he becomes the greatest free agent starter the franchise has ever signed.
To do this, Bauer doesn’t need to accomplish a whole lot. The 2020 NL Cy Young winner merely needs to pitch near his career averages. Something that could put him over the top and differentiate him from other free agent starting pitchers in this franchise’s history is a World Series ring.
Free agency isn’t old enough where we can claim it led to some Mets championships. It wasn’t around in 1969. As for the 1986 squad, they were built with a combination of homegrown talent and savvy trades.
The Mets have made it to the World Series twice since their last win. Both of those times, we saw a much bigger impact from the free agent market. This should be the case yet again when they make their next trip to the finals whenever that may be.
Bauer isn’t a member of the Mets yet and I have a feeling we won’t see him sign anywhere until at least December. The MLB offseason tends to move more slowly than many of us would like it to.
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If he does end up with the Mets, there will be plenty of reasons to get excited. And many years from now, we may very well look at the deal as one of the best made between the Mets front office and a pitcher looking for his next place to play.