The New York Mets are in a prime position to sign Trevor Bauer in free agency after their recent trade and the situations of Bauer’s other suitors.
Trevor Bauer seemed like a pipe dream for the New York Mets at the beginning of the offseason. J.T. Realmuto seemed like he would be their biggest priority, but then they went and got James McCann (for about $75 million less).
Then, Sandy Alderson executed a gigantic trade that brought Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco to Queens. Lindor is going to cost a lot of money in an extension, so it didn’t seem like Steve Cohen would have the appetite to bring on another big contract. But, it looks like circumstances may change after the organization traded away Steven Matz and his $5.2 million salary for three prospects on Wednesday night.
That $5 million might not seem like a big difference but it is if Bauer is willing to sign a short-term deal. The Mets would entertain a short-term, high AAV contract for the reigning Cy Young award winner, but he might not want to sign for $35 million a year. What if the Mets used Matz’s $5 million for Bauer?
Bauer would seriously have to consider taking it. He wants to break the AAV record for a pitcher that was set by Gerrit Cole last winter ($36M), so if Cohen offered him $40 million for this season he would achieve that and be on a World Series contender. That would be hard to turn down.
Bauer’s other suitors are dwindling very quickly
Bauer entered the winter with many different possible suitors. The Padres, Angels, Dodgers, Blue Jays, Yankees, Braves, and of course, the Mets were likely gauging his market. But, all of those teams still had to build their rosters so they didn’t have time to sit and wait around.
The Yankees signed Corey Kluber and traded for Jameson Taillon to be in their rotation; the Dodgers’ biggest priority is to bring back Justin Turner and they’re getting David Price back in 2021; the Padres acquired Blake Snell, Yu Darvish, and Joe Musgrove; the Braves signed Charlie Morton and have Mike Soroka returning from injury; the Blue Jays just gave $150 million to George Springer and $18 million to Marcus Semien.
There just simply aren’t many teams that still have gaping holes and/or the money anymore. The Angels seem like the only main competition for the Mets, but even they are not expected to pursue Bauer any longer, according to Maria Torres of the LA Times.
Are the Mets bidding against themselves?
Bauer might not be able to get the ridiculously high AAV that he wants, and I’d assume he wants to be on a contender so he might end up lowering his sights and signing in the $35-$37 million range. Spring Training starts in a matter of weeks so time is ticking for the best pitcher remaining on the market to make his decision.
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