While George Springer has reportedly agreed to a contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, and DJ LeMahieu returned to the New York Yankees, fellow top free agents Trevor Bauer and J.T. Realmuto remain available in what again has been a slow-moving market.
Activity is expected to pick up in the days and weeks ahead as the scheduled start of 2021 Spring Training is just one month away. For the Los Angeles Dodgers, they face a pressing question at third base and are believed to still be in search of another relief pitcher.
L.A. has most prominently been connected to Justin Turner, Marcus Semien, Brad Hand and Jeremy Jeffress, among others, over recent weeks. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Dodgers also are on the periphery with Bauer:
The Los Angeles Dodgers are monitoring the market for right-hander Trevor Bauer and could be a player depending on the price, sources tell ESPN. Focus for the Dodgers now remains on a right-handed infield bat, but Bauer and the Dodgers remain a possibility as his market develops.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 20, 2021
The Dodgers don’t have a pressing need for starting pitching, and it wasn’t the two areas — which were a right-handed bat and the bullpen — president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman identified as focal points this offseason.
However, the team has regularly shown a willingness to be opportunistic with top talent. Particularly if it can come in the form of a short-term contract. The Dodgers attempted to lure Bryce Harper with a high average annual value, but he sought a mega deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Bauer at one point voiced a willingness to sign a series of one-year contracts to finish his career, though that no longer appears to be under serious consideration. Bauer is coming off a Cy Young Award season in which he went a modest 5-4 but had a 1.73 ERA and 0.79 WHIP in 11 starts.
He led the National League in ERA, WHIP, opponents’ batting average (.159), opponents’ BABIP (.215), adjusted ERA+ (276), hits per nine innings (5.1), shutouts (two) and complete games (two). Bauer additionally ranked second in strikeouts (100) and strikeouts per nine innings (12.3).
Bauer asks Dodgers fans for pitch
Bauer has taken a unique approach to his free agency process by regularly addressing matters on social media and through his Momentum platform. That recently included a FaceTime call with Dodgers fans in which he asked for their best pitch on signing with the team.
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