Reds rumors: Contract details reveal why Trevor Bauer will sign elsewhere

DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 2: Pitcher Trevor Bauer #27 of the Cincinnati Reds smiles after a 4-0 win. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 2: Pitcher Trevor Bauer #27 of the Cincinnati Reds smiles after a 4-0 win. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

The latest Reds rumors will put the thought of re-signing Trevor Bauer to bed.

It was always a long shot, but Cincinnati Reds fans were holding out hope that Trevor Bauer may in fact return to the Queen City next season. After all, we’d heard for years that Bauer was interested in signing a series of one-year contracts. The latest Reds rumors are contrary to that and the price tag for Bauer, like most of us already assumed, is out of Cincinnati’s price range.

According to Jon Heyman, and insider at MLB Network, the NL Cy Young-winner is looking for a five or six-year deal worth $36M-$40M annually. That would amount to a contract in the neighborhood of $180M-$240M. That would rival the average annual value of the contract signed last offseason by New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole.

As I’m sure everyone throughout Reds Country has observed this winter, Cincinnati is looking to offload big contracts, not take on more. The Reds front office has already traded Raisel Iglesias and non-tendered the likes of Curt Casali, Archie Bradley, and Brian Goodwin.

It should hardly come as a shock to most baseball fans that Bauer would set his sights north of Cole’s contract. As is the custom, elite-level players entering free agency usually try to to one-up the bar set the previous year.

After watching Yasmani Grandal sign a four-year/$73M contract with the Chicago White Sox last offseason, J.T. Realmuto is likely to command a salary north of $100M this winter. MLB Trade Rumors has even predicted that the All-Star catcher will land a five-year/$125M contract.

With the Reds rumors flying out of Cincinnati this winter claiming that Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo, Eugenio Suárez, and Mike Moustakas are possible trade candidates, it stands to reason that Trevor Bauer’s price tag will be much too rich for the Redlegs.

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Bauer, being the best available starting pitcher on the open market, has every reason to set his desired contract as high as possible. However, the market will ultimately dictate where he lands. Big market organizations like the New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Los Angeles Angels are the most likely destinations right now.