I’m pilfering an idea from Lone Star Ball. It isn’t the first time I’ve stolen from them. The idea is to go through some of the top free agents, use the contract FanGraphs suggests they will get and have a poll asking if we would like to sign him for that amount.
Trevor Bauer is the number 3 on Keith Law’s list of top free agents (of course, this list came out before the relatively large number of players had their options declined) and also number 3 on FanGraph’s list.
Craig Edwards figures him to get a 4-year contract worth $90 million, averaging $22.5 million a year. On both lists, he is the top free-agent pitcher.
Let’s talk about the on-field stuff first: Bauer had a 1.73 ERA in 11 starts for the Reds this year. Perhaps he was getting some luck. His BABIP was .215, much lower than ever before in his career. Over the past 5 seasons, he’s had fWARs of 2.6, 2.8, 5.8, 3.3, and 2.5 in this shortened season.
He was the “players’ choice” as Outstanding NL Pitcher this year.
He is continuously working on his pitches. Keith tells us that he says he has 9 distinctly different pitches. He’s been a student of spin rates. I do appreciate that he is trying to get the most out of his abilities.
Off the field? Law calls him a ‘polarizing figure’, which is a kind way of putting it. He is outspoken on Twitter. Not always a bad thing. He dislikes Rob Manfred (who, other than the owners, doesn’t?). He’s talked on people in the broadcast booths spending too much time running down the product on the field. His Twitter, during the playoffs, was fascinating.
He says several things I agree with:
This is the direction the game is going, and needs to go to survive. Don’t like getting shown up? Get better or get out. This league ain’t waiting around for you. https://t.co/vl4rxtUyJS— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) October 6, 2020
And this from September:
Hey @TimAnderson7, I was disappointed I didn't see a bat flip from you after you took me deep 420ft, but you did make it on my YouTube channel.— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) September 21, 2020
Everyone can watch me break down what happened on Saturday night right here: https://t.co/MrpmXM5HgY https://t.co/0hNCh0SKzo
He’s been firmly against throwing at player’s heads. He’s all for players celebrating when they do well.
He is also, more than occasionally, a bit of a jerk on Twitter. Unapologetically a jerk. Occasionally, it would be preferable if he would say ‘hey, I see I crossed a line, I didn’t get that my words could be received that way.’
And he’s had his on-field moments. Throwing the ball over the outfield wall when he was irritated got noticed.
It’s a tough line. I like getting a glimpse into a player’s personality, but I don’t want to see the bad parts.
Should the Blue Jays sign Trevor Bauer if the price is $22.5 million a year for 4 years?
This poll is closed
Probably, but I’m not enthusiastic about it
Probably not, but I wouldn’t hate it
No, absolutely not