I hope the Mets sign the NL Cy Young Award winner. He would slot in nicely behind deGrom and ahead of Marcus Stroman. While I think he will get very overpaid, I think that’s just what free agency is. The good players often get overpaid.
The Mets have a clear need for pitching. Money should not be an obstacle anymore. If the Mets don’t sign George Springer, they must sign Bauer. If they don’t it makes no sense that they would pass up on J.T. Realmuto for James McCann. Especially with the Robinson Cano money being handed to Cohen I expect the Mets to get one, but hopefully two big names.
While I do think this season might have been an anomaly, I’ve always thought Bauer has had great stuff. This season he had the fortune of pitching against the central division teams all year. We saw how they did in the playoffs – not great. But, I wouldn’t expect him to be an ace.
I think Bauer can be a very viable second or third starter in a rotation who can give you a quality start most of the time.
Even with the overpay Bauer will get, he is worth it to me for a couple of reasons. One, the depth in free agency for pitching is very poor. Guys like Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and Taijuan Walker just don’t do it for me. Tanaka is 32, coming off a down year and pitching with a partially torn UCL, Paxton has never made more than 29 starts in a season, and Walker just doesn’t have the track record of success.
While Bauer had a disappointing 2019, in 2018 he went 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA, striking out 11.3 batters in 175.1 innings pitched. He is an above-average pitcher that would add a lot of value to a subpar rotation.
Unfortunately, after his Cy Young year, I doubt Bauer will be looking for a one-year deal. If the Mets can get him on a four or five-year deal I will be satisfied. Anything more seems like too much for me. But I do hope they can land him.