- The Mets have become favorites to sign Trevor Bauer this offseason
- Mets have already made blockbuster offseason moves
- Should New York sign the NL Cy Young winner?
It’s probably not how the New York Mets or Trevor Bauer would have envisioned it playing out, but here we are in late January with the 2020 National League Cy Young award winner still looking for a team.
Earlier in the offseason, it was rumored that Bauer was seeking a five or six year contract at a higher annual value than the deal New York Yankees star pitcher Gerrit Cole received last offseason.
But as baseball’s financial landscape has dramatically changed, Bauer and the Mets will have to re-imagine a partnership under the current circumstances. It was reported that the Mets are the frontrunners to sign the talented pitcher.
Even though it seems like the Mets might be able to get the pitcher at a discount, here are two reasons why New York should stay away from Bauer.
The price tag is still questionable
While it seems unlikely at this juncture that Bauer receives the lengthy contract he reportedly initially sought heading into free agency, he still apparently is looking for the highest average annual value compensation of any pitcher in Major League Baseball.
While it’s a positive that the Mets would not have fork over such a high amount for half a decade, paying upwards of $40 million per year for a pitcher who might not actually be a game changer for them is still risky. New owner Steve Cohen has made a point that he’s not afraid to spend aggressively in order for the Mets to contend in 2021. Yet, the fact they stopped short of signing free agent center fielder George Springer supports the case that the team still has a limit on their budget.
Additionally, it seems questionable that Bauer is as good as his market reset demands are suggesting.
He did have a microscopic 1.73 ERA in a shortened 2020 season, but he made less than half the number of starts rotation aces usually make in a full 162 game season. There’s no way to know whether he would’ve continued that level of production with another 20 starts. He’s also only had two seasons where he finished with a sub 3.00 ERA, and one of them was the abridged campaign last year.
It’s hard to figure that he’ll provide consistent outings of seven innings and two or fewer runs. His track record suggests that’s not the kind of shut down pitcher he is.
The Mets don’t need him
Even with a pitching staff that featured perhaps the best starter in the game in Jacob deGrom, the Mets had the 22nd best ERA in baseball last season.
The team was not helped by a spring training season ending injury to Noah Syndergaard, and the opt out of Marcus Stroman. New York really struggled to get quality starts from their two through five starters.
As it turns out though, even without a potential Bauer addition, the Mets rotation figures to be in better shape in 2021.
Stroman accepted the Mets’ qualifying offer back in November. He will be relied upon in the middle of the rotation.
While Syndergaard is unlikely to begin the season with the big club, reports indicate that the flamethrower is advancing well in his recovery, and could return in June. The 28 year old will also be highly motivated to put together a strong season, as he prepares to head into free agency at the end of the 2021 season.
The team also acquired Carlos Carrasco as part of their blockbuster trade for shortstop Francisco Lindor, and he’ll play a huge role in stabilizing New York’s rotation. While Carrasco has never put up the microscopic ERA Bauer did last season, he’s arguably been more consistent than his former Cleveland teammate has been over the last decade. He’s posted an ERA under 4.00 in six out of the last seven seasons.
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