NY Mets dodge a bullet in Trevor Bauer signing with Dodgers

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 14: Trevor Bauer #27 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during game one of a doubleheader at Great American Ball Park on September 14, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 14: Trevor Bauer #27 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during game one of a doubleheader at Great American Ball Park on September 14, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /
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News broke on Thursday, February 4th, that the Trevor Bauer sweepstakes were officially down to two teams. Bauer narrowed down his teams to the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Mets. An announcement was expected within the next day and when it finally came, most were shocked.

Bauer ended up signing with the Dodgers after being heavily linked to the Mets and sign did he, agreeing to a deal for three years and a whopping $102 million. The specifics came in at even more eye-popping numbers as Bauer is set to receive $40 million in year one, $45 million in year two, and $17 million in the third with opt-outs after the first and second years.

The Mets offer was actually larger, while it was the same length at three years, it came in at $105 million. The Mets offered more money in the third year which brought down the average value of the first two, ultimately resulting in Bauer choosing his hometown team.

Looking into multiple factors, here is why the Mets dodged a huge bullet with Bauer.

Let’s get the biggest factor out of the way, $40 million a year for a pitcher is absolutely ridiculous, especially with the track record of Bauer. It would take a lot to convince me to pay a pitcher $40 million a season when they only pitch every five games, although it will be a lot easier to convince me if they have numbers like our ace Jacob deGrom or the recent success and future potential of Gerrit Cole.

Just for reference, if the Mets do end up deciding to spend the $40+ million elsewhere they would have used on Bauer this upcoming season, here is what it could look like.

Now while Bradley would likely cost more than $8 million a season, you could go and get a cheaper pitcher to have Bryant, Bradley, and other said pitcher to hit that $40 million mark. The point is, you can get three impact players for the same price Bauer was going to be paid. Spreading $40 million out on three different players is a much more wise decision to make a team deep all around instead of blowing it on a guy with a career ERA barely under 4.00.

Adding onto Bauers career ERA, fellow RisingApple writer Michael Calascione blessed us with a fun fact that Steven Matz has more seasons of an ERA under 4.00 than Bauer… yes you read that correctly don’t worry.

Now some may argue that Bauers 2020 season was different in a good way and he won the Cy Young award, but at the same time, he pitched against the worst offensive teams in baseball.

For reference, the league-average OPS+ is 100. Bauer pitched against ONE above-average offensive team in the regular season and only had one game against them, of course his stats will be as great as they were this past season.

In addition to pitching against some of the worst offensive teams in the league, it has been speculated that Bauer had some help. Bauer has openly admitted to using foreign substances to help his spin rate and has been quoted saying that “70% of pitchers do it”.

Bauer himself tweeted out that he knew for a fact he can improve his RPM on each pitch by 400 if he used pine tar if he did not have morals. Well, apparently he does not have morals because his RPM on each of his pitches indeed jumped about 300-400 from 2019 to 2020.

His fastball went from 2412 in 2019 to 2776 in 2020. His curveball was 2549 in 2019 and jumped to 2933 in 2020. In 2019 his cutter was at 2640 and went up to 2908 in 2020. His slider was at 2736 in 2019 and 2941 in 2020. His sinker was at 2353 in 2019 and went up 2796 in 2020.

He himself said he could raise the RPM on his pitches by 400 by using pine tar, it is not a coincidence that his pitches jumped by that much in a year where he was set to be a free agent at years end.

If Bauer can duplicate his success from this past season then he’ll be fine, but if he returns to the pitcher that had one season of an ERA under 4.00 in his previous eight seasons which is more likely, it is another story.

Off the field, Bauer has also had his share of issues. He has been involved in multiple different problems on his social media, most notably his Twitter account. He seems to always be stirring something up with fans and getting in trouble.

Without getting too into it, a college girl felt harassed by Bauer after he had mentioned her in 80 tweets as she only mentioned him 20 times. Bauer referred to the situation as “standing up to a bully” and did go on to apologize, but it is still not a good look for him. It would have been even worse for the Mets to sign him after the events they have had to deal with in the past couple of weeks.

With Bauer’s on-field questions and off-field issues, the Mets dodged a huge bullet when he decided to sign with his hometown Dodgers. Between Bauer’s social media antics and paying him a potential $40 million for a career average pitcher and not having money to strengthen the team elsewhere, the Mets would have been caught in a terrible deal.

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