On Friday, reigning NL Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer announced he was signing with the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
MY NEW HOME!https://t.co/1gKAOSwY3w
— Trevor Bauer (トレバー・バウアー) (@BauerOutage) February 5, 2021
The contract is reportedly a three-year pact worth $102 million, with opt outs after each of the first two seasons. Bauer will make $40 million in 2021, and $45 million in 2022 (these numbers are just comical at this point).
Trevor Bauer gets $102M for 3 years from Dodgers, per source. He has opt outs after each of the first two years; $40M in 2021, $45M in 2022. He'll be the highest-paid player in MLB history in '21, then again in '22. Good job by @AgentRachelLuba & Jon Fetterolf of @zssports_law.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) February 5, 2021
Last season, the Dodgers’ rotation had an NL-best 3.29 ERA. In 2019, it was an MLB-best 3.11. In 2018, it was again an NL-best at 3.19. In 2017, it was an MLB-best 3.39. You get the point: LA’s rotation isn’t a weak spot, and hasn’t been for quite some time.
Bauer joins a rotation in Los Angeles that brings back all of its key men from last year: Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Julio Urias, Dustin May, and Tony Gonsolin. Of those five, Urias had the highest ERA at 3.49. David Price, who opted out of the 2020 season, also returns to the rotation mix. Offensively, the only starter that hasn’t returned is still unsigned free agent Justin Turner, who is widely expected to return to the team. Even without Turner, the Dodgers still have Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger, and so on and so forth in their starting nine.
For the Dodgers, this is an ideal counter to the San Diego Padres’ strong offseason. The Padres acquired Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove, and Blake Snell this winter to bolster their own rotation, but none are long-term options: Musgrove will be a free agent after 2022, while Snell and Darvish are signed through 2023. Bauer’s deal with the Dodgers can end any time after the next three seasons. If the Dodgers hold off the Padres over the next three years and San Diego is forced to revamp their roster without Darvish and Snell, LA can move on from Bauer (if he didn’t opt out) with the knowledge that the signing was a success.
The biggest losers, aside from the Padres, are the New York Mets. Bauer was reported to be heading to Queens on Thursday night, but that report was refuted, and Bauer ended up choosing the west coast over the east coast. Bauer would have turned the Mets into the presumptive favorite in the NL East, joining a rotation with Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco, and Marcus Stroman, with Noah Syndergaard still recovering from Tommy John surgery. New York finished in the division’s cellar, along with the Nationals, last year, but added Carrasco, Francisco Lindor, and James McCann, while Stroman accepted the qualifying offer after opting out of the 2020 season.