Trevor Bauer is unlikely to return to the Reds, and that’s okay.
While many of Cincinnati faithful hoped that the front office would pursue Trevor Bauer this offseason, this Reds fan is glad to see they aren’t. It’s been a foregone conclusion since Bauer won the Cy Young that the Cincinnati Reds‘ front office is not going to have the capital to retain the right-hander next season.
However, that’s not all bad news for the Reds, as Cincinnati will receive a compensatory draft pick in the 2021 MLB Draft after issuing a qualifying offer to Bauer earlier this offseason. For those unfamiliar, a qualifying offer gives a team a form of compensation in the event that an elite-level player signs elsewhere once he becomes a free agent.
Bauer, in addition to fellow right-handers Kevin Gausman and Marcus Stroman, received a qualifying offer following the World Series back in November. Unlike Gausman and Stroman, however, Bauer rejected his qualifying offer, pursuing free agency instead. Gausman and Stroman both re-signed with their respective clubs for $18.9M.
Trevor Bauer can undoubtedly receive a much bigger contract on the open market this offseason, especially with the lack of top-flight pitching available. With Bauer being the lone ace on the free agent market, teams have resorted to trades as a way to address shortcomings in their starting rotations.
We recently saw the Tampa Bay Rays deal former Cy Young winner Blake Snell to the San Diego Padres in exchange for several prospects. AJ Preller, however, was not finished, as he contacted the Chicago Cubs and pulled off a deal for Yu Darvish as well. Reds starting pitcher Sonny Gray’s name has emerged in trade talks this offseason as well.
It was recently reported by MLB insider Jon Heyman that Trevor Bauer was seeking a five to six-year contract worth $36M-$40M per season. That should make Cincinnati fans happy, as the Reds now stand to gain a compensatory pick immediately following Round 1 of the 2021 MLB Draft.
Trevor Bauer had previously set his sights on the idea of signing a series of one-year contracts, but the latest rumors seem to have put that idea to bed. Frankly, Bauer’s value may never be higher than it is right now, and with tons of questions surrounding the collective bargaining agreement heading into 2022, the Cy Young-winner would do well to strike while the iron’s hot.