As the Los Angeles Dodgers work to bring back Justin Turner, they also have been mentioned as a possible landing spot for Trevor Bauer, who easily is the top free agent left on the market.
The right-hander posted a modest 5-4 record last season but had a 1.73 ERA and 0.79 WHIP in 11 starts en route to his first career National League Cy Young Award.
In addition to the Dodgers, Bauer reportedly drew interest from the New York Mets, L.A. Angels and Toronto Blue Jays at various points this offseason. However, that list had dwindled in recent days, with the Angels and Blue Jays ruled for different reasons.
The Bauer sweepstakes ultimately boiled down to a two-team race between Dodgers and Mets. According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, Bauer has elected to sign with the Dodgers:
Bauer to Dodgers
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 5, 2021
Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Bauer signed a three-year contract that includes multiple opt-outs:
Trevor Bauer and the Los Angeles Dodgers are in agreement on a three-year deal that has opt-outs after Years 1 and 2, sources tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 5, 2021
With Bauer joining the Dodgers, he adds to what already appeared to be a deep starting rotation. He additionally gives them a third Cy Young Award winner in the rotation. However, due to Bauer rejecting a qualifying offer, it costs the Dodgers their second-highest pick (No. 63) in the 2021 MLB Draft and $500,000 from their international bonus pool.
The decision comes as somewhat of a surprise considering indications were the Mets had a longer offer on the table.
Dodgers didn’t have significant need for Bauer
Although the Dodgers have added Bauer, they didn’t face much pressure to sign him. David Price returning further adds to a starting rotation will have Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May, both of whom gained valuable experience in 2020.
L.A. also was looking at the option of relying on Julio Urias, along with Josiah Gray potentially emerging to make his MLB debut.
Of course, with Bauer in the fold, it’s possible the Dodger will now look to trade Price. It was previously suggested L.A. was open to doing so for luxury tax purposes.
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