Trevor Bauer signing with Dodgers over Mets

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Danny Abriano
·15 min read
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Trevor Bauer delivers a pitch wearing red Cincinnati Reds jersey
Trevor Bauer delivers a pitch wearing red Cincinnati Reds jersey

Feb. 5, 2:50 p.m.

Trevor Bauer has chosen to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Mets, reports SNY's Andy Martino.

Jon Heyman of MLB Network was first to report the news.

Bauer made things official in a video posted to his YouTube page shortly after 2:50 p.m., appearing in a Dodgers uniform at the end of the video and saying he "can't wait" to pitch in Los Angeles.

Feb. 5, 1:14

With Bauer's decision thought to be imminent, his LinkTree website published a new merchandise section called "LFGM" before taking it down and putting it back up as "LFG."

The site also published a signed Mets hat giveaway that was later taken down, and later posted a signed Los Angeles Dodgers hat giveaway.

When signing up for the signed Mets hat giveaway, people received an automated email from Bauer that said "I can't wait to take the mound in New York."

Feb. 5, 12:01 p.m.

There are "mixed signals at best" from people involved in the Bauer talks regarding whether there was a 12 p.m. ET deadline from the Mets, reports SNY's Andy Martino.

Joel Sherman of The New York Post reported earlier Friday that the Mets had given Bauer until 12 p.m. ET on Friday to accept their offer.

Per Sherman, the Mets' offer to Bauer is for three years (with opt outs after the first two seasons) and would pay Bauer roughly $40 million annually in the first and second year.

Sherman adds that the Mets have concern that Bauer could prefer to play with the Los Angeles Dodgers due to him being a California native, and are attempting to bring the negotiations to a conclusion.

If the average annual value of Bauer's deal eclipses the $36 million annually Gerrit Cole received last offseason from the Yankees, he will become pitcher with the highest average annual contract value ever.

Feb. 5, 8:44 a.m.

The Mets have not yet heard if Trevor Bauer has decided to play for them, sources told SNY's Andy Martino.

The expectation late Thursday afternoon was that the Bauer sweepstakes would be resolved before the end of Friday.

Along with the Mets, the Los Angeles Dodgers are reported to be involved.

Feb. 4 6:25 p.m.

Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Mets have an offer to Bauer for three years worth "close to $100M."

Heyman is also reporting that the offer likely has an opt out after one season, which WFAN's Ed Coleman has previously said.

SNY MLB Insider Andy Martino reported earlier on Thursday that the Mets' initial offer to Bauer was approximately four years with an average annual value (AAV) in mid-to-low $30 million range. Noting that the initial offer had opt outs build into it, Martino gave an educated guess that a new offer could have AAV a bit up, perhaps the years down and/or opt out after Year 1.

If the average annual value for a Bauer deal exceeds $30 million, it would put the Mets over the luxury tax threshold.

Feb. 4, 5:32 p.m.

According to MLB Network's Jon Morosi, the Mets "are the current favorite" to sign Bauer.

Things seem to be nearing a resolution regarding the free agent pitcher, as it's been reported that the Mets and Dodgers are the two finalists still in play to land him.

Feb. 4, 3:16 p.m.

There is lots of talk in the industry at the moment that discussions between Bauer and the Mets are "quite serious," reports SNY's Andy Martino.

Per Martino, it's not clear that all other teams are out on Bauer, with the possibility existing that the Mets could face competition if the deal Bauer signs is no more than two or three years.

Bauer's agent, Rachel Luba tweeted "Down to 2" on Thursday afternoon as rumors about her client swirled.

In addition to the Mets, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been the team most linked to Bauer recently.

The Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Angels were rumored as potential suitors earlier this offseason, but reports in recent weeks have cast doubt on the possible interest of either team.

Bauer has been seeking an average annual value that would eclipse the $36 million yearly salary Gerrit Cole received from the Yankees last offseason.

Feb. 3, 9:22 a.m.

Speaking via Zoom on Tuesday as part of the Thurman Munson awards dinner, Michael Conforto weighed in on the potential of the Mets adding Bauer.

"Any time you're talking about bringing in the top pitcher on the market, that's always gonna be a good thing," Conforto said.

After noting that the Bauer situation is something that's more of a front office question, Conforto added:

"If you're asking me if we want pitching, of course we want pitching."

With two weeks to go until Mets pitchers and catchers report to spring training, it stands to reason that Bauer will choose his next team sooner rather than later. But nothing on the Bauer front appears imminent.

Feb. 2, 2:34 p.m.

The rumor mill has been quiet over the last few days when it comes to Bauer and his possible free agent destination. And one potential future teammate is trying to recruit the right-hander to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Here's what Walker Buehler said during a recent appearance on Dodgers Talk:

"I know Trevor a fair amount and have gotten along with him well when we’ve been around each other. And I think it’s hard to say that we wouldn’t want that guy around. It was an amazing year last year and we hope (he) finds his way, I hope he finds his way into blue. But obviously, it’s a little bit above my pay grade."

Per SNY's Andy Martino, the Dodgers -- like the Mets -- prefer to land Bauer on a short-term deal.

Jan. 28, 5:14 p.m.

In the current known landscape for Bauer with the Los Angeles Angels seemingly out of the running, the Mets "are the obvious fit," SNY's Andy Martino reported on Thursday.

The Mets' current offer to Bauer, according to Martino, is for approximately four years, contains opt-outs, and is for "somewhat less" than $36 million per season.

While the Mets like Bauer, they are not interested in a bidding war, with Martino reporting that if a team emerges to bid more aggressively that they'll land him.

Jan. 27, 11:26 p.m.

With the Toronto Blue Jays now seemingly out of the running after trading for Steven Matz and with team president Mark Shapiro saying earlier in the day that "the bulk of the heavy lifting is done," it appeared the Mets, Angels, and Dodgers were perhaps the final teams still in on Bauer.

But is it time to cross another team off the list?

According to Maria Torres of the LA Times, the likelihood of the Angels signing Bauer is "practically zero."

Per Torres, outside of just the financial implications of a potential deal, Bauer and current Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway "did not get along" when the two were together in Cleveland, and the relationship is "believed to be eroded beyond repair."

That would seem to point to the Mets and Dodgers being the two most likely destinations for the Cy Young winner.

Jan. 27, 12:16 p.m.

If Toronto Blue Jays CEO Mark Shapiro is to be taken at face value, it would seem the Jays are out of the running for Bauer.

"The bulk of our heavy lifting is done," Shapiro said on Wednesday while introducing newest Jay George Springer, per Mike Wilner of Sportsnet.

It should be noted that the Jays still have roughly $66 million in salary cap space before hitting the luxury tax threshold, so they could easily fit Bauer in. But if they're out, one serious suitor has been removed from Bauer's market.

On Dec. 31, Bauer said that he had a meeting set with the Blue Jays, which included talking to their pitching coach.

In addition to the Mets and Toronto, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels have both been connected to Bauer.

Jan. 26, 10:36 a.m.

The Mets have made an offer to Bauer, but "not to this point" at the record-setting average annual value of $36 million, reports SNY's Andy Martino.

Bauer has reportedly been seeking to eclipse the highest yearly contract value for a pitcher which was set by Gerrit Cole before the 2020 season. The Yankees gave Cole a nine-year deal worth $324 million, which came out to $36 million per season.

In addition to the Mets, other teams that have been connected to Bauer include the Los Angeles Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays.

If the Mets were to sign Bauer, the average annual value of his contract would likely take them over the $210 million luxury tax threshold for the 2021 season.

As things currently stand, the Mets have roughly $30 million to play with under the threshold, though they have potential salary-clearing trades lined up. One of those is for Steven Matz, Martino reported on Monday.

Jan. 25, 7:56 p.m.

With the Mets interested in Bauer on a "shorter deal," it may take more to get him than previously expected.

“If you’re talking about a one-year deal it’s going to take more than $30 million,” one rival team executive told SNY's John Harper. “Probably closer to $40 million because he’s going to want the highest AAV, and right now that’s (Gerrit) Cole at $36 million (a year).

“You never know with Bauer but I still think he’ll take the biggest deal he can find, because he’ll never have this kind of leverage again. If the AAV is $30 million, I can’t see him taking less than five years.”

Jan. 23, 11:26 a.m.

The Mets reportedly have interest in Bauer on a “shorter” deal, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. Heyman characterizes the length of that deal as four years or fewer, also saying that the Dodgers would have interest at that term, as well.

Heyman continues that other teams are under the impression that Bauer would sign for a longer-term deal and adds that Bauer’s agent says that “he’s open to all different types of structures."

Jan. 22, 9:44 p.m.

All along, it's sounded as if the Mets weren't going to be willing to exceed the luxury tax threshold of $210 million, but those plans just might be changing.

As SNY MLB Insider Andy Martino writes, it's fair to wonder if the Mets might be changing their course of action after missing out on George Springer. And if Bauer is willing to sign a shorter deal at around $30 million per year, Martino writes that he'd 'bet the Mets would be in on that.'

Jan. 5, 9:08 p.m.

Rachel Luba, Trevor Bauer's agent, provided an update on the Cy Young winner's free agency on Thursday evening.

In a message posted on Twitter, Luba says that Bauer will discuss "his own thoughts and priorities about what he's looking for in his next team on his YouTube channel," and that video will be posted in the coming days.

Luba also notes that Bauer has been discussing how teams are using data and technology to help develop their players, as advancing that side of baseball has been "an important goal" for Bauer.

Luba concluded her message by saying that Bauer is "considering a number of different types of contracts and structures," and that his ultimate decision will be based on a variety of factors.

Dec. 31, 4:22 p.m.

As SNY MLB Insider Andy Martino reported on Wednesday, the Mets and Blue Jays remain seriously interested in center fielder George Springer, but could Toronto also be a destination for Trevor Bauer?

In a video posted by the free agent pitcher on Thursday, Bauer says that he has a call scheduled with the Blue Jays. The vlog was was posted on Thursday but was filmed around Christmas when he was home with his family.

The reigning NL Cy Young winner said he would speak with Jays pitching coach Pete Walker as well as a member of the team’s high performance staff, likely to be Angus Mugford, listed as the team’s director of high performance.

“I’ve got a call with the Blue Jays at six. Gonna check in with them, talk to their pitching coach and their high performance coach and all them and see what they have to offer,” Bauer said. “So that’s moving forward.”

Dec. 15. 9:37 a.m.

The San Francisco Giants have talked about signing Bauer, reports John Shea of The San Francisco Chronicle.

However, Shea notes that the Giants discuss the top free agents every year, meaning it is not clear just how serious the interest in Bauer could be.

Speaking on Monday during new GM Jared Porter's introductory news conference, Mets president Sandy Alderson said the "gourmet" section of the free agent market (the higher end players) is developing slowly.

Things could quickly change, but it does not appear that a signing of Bauer or another top free agent is close.

Along with Bauer, center fielder George Springer and catcher J.T. Realmuto remain unsigned. Also still on the market are most of the second tier starting pitchers, including Jake Odorizzi, Masahiro Tanaka, and Corey Kluber.

Dec. 7, 10:06 a.m.

Bauer's agent, Rachel Luba, told Deesha Thosar of The New York Daily News that her client "likes where the (Mets') organization is going," adding that Queens can "definitely be a landing spot."

Per Luba, here is the current state of Bauer's market as it pertains to when he might sign:

"We’re set enough to be in a position where we don’t have any sense of urgency to slow down the process or speed it up," Luba told Thosar. "We’re just letting it play out right now. We don’t want to rush into anything without talking to everyone and seeing what’s out there before making a decision."

The Mets -- and specifically team president Sandy Alderson -- began flirting with Bauer in November.

Last week, SNY's Andy Martino reported that the Mets have interest in signing RHP Jake Odorizzi, and would have no issue signing him before the market develops.

Nov. 19, 11:01 a.m.

Bauer's agent, Rachel Luba, quote tweeted Mets owner Steve Cohen on Wednesday night after Cohen told a fan that the plan was to spend the $24 million no longer owed to Robinson Cano on more players.

Nov. 15, 4:59 p.m.

Bauer posted a long video praising Steve Cohen's first few days as Mets owner.

"Unfortunately in baseball, this doesn't happen very often. I mean, when was the last time that you can think of that you have an owner on Twitter asking the fans, his customers, what they want? ... You got the owner of the Mets talking to fans on Twitter -- that's pretty cool," he said.

Nov. 13, 4:30 p.m.

In a conversation with SNY, Bauer's agent, Rachel Luba, praised Sandy Alderson's comments about her client and talked about his potential fit in New York.

"We're at this place where there's so much value in being in a big media market and taking advantage of that. ... Having a big following and a big public presence helps these other ventures (that Bauer has)," Luba said. "It's definitely helpful for him. I think he's at a place now where i think he can thrive (in a big market)."

As far as Alderson's comments about her client, Luba said:

"I was happy to hear somebody on the MLB side, the team side, acknowledge and vocalize the fact that they are in the entertainment business and that this is entertainment," Luba explained. "Make baseball fun, that's what the sport should be. ... I'm glad somebody said it on the team side and acknowledged it. To me, the coolest part is to see how the narrative has changed on him and in a positive way."

Nov. 10, 6:26 p.m.

Mets president Sandy Alderson said Bauer "would be a great personality in New York."

"This is an entertainment business. … We’ve got to be open-minded about how players express themselves," Alderson said during an appearance on WFAN. "The thing that’s interesting about Bauer is he brings along with him a lot of ideas, a lot of routines, a sort of technical orientation that I bet we can learn from. If a guy can perform. It doesn’t really-- to me as long as it’s not disruptive in the clubhouse and basically if guys see someone performing, they’ll live with whatever the baggage is.

“I actually think Bauer would be a great personality in New York. I think he’s the kind of guy that fans would embrace.”

Alderson’s WFAN appearance also caught the eye of Bauer’s agent, Rachel Luba, who tweeted “Sandy Alderson gets it.”