On Thursday afternoon, former Cy Young award winner Trevor Bauer was released from the Los Angeles Dodgers after failing to find a trade partner. Now that he is a free agent, who will Bauer play for now?
On February 5th, 2021, Trevor Bauer signed a massive deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Unfortunately, his LA tenure was very short-lived. Trevor Bauer was placed on administrative leave for internal investigations after sexual assault allegations were brought against him on July 2nd, 2021.
Trevor Bauer that year went 8-5 with a 2.59 era in 17 starts, during this time he led the league in innings pitched and strikeouts with 137. On September 10th, 2021, the MLB and the players union extended Bauer’s leave through the rest of the 2021 season. Bauer would eventually be suspended for 194 games which would reinstate him for the 2023 season but dock his pay for the first 50 games.
On January 6th, 2023, the Dodgers officially placed the former Cy Young on designated for assignment. The Dodgers would have just one week to find a trade partner, or they would have to release him to waivers. Los Angeles would not find a trade partner making him officially released on January 12th and free to sign to any team he wants. With that, where will he end up?
Bauer’s Next Destination
There are a few destinations where Trevor Bauer could end up in. This, of course, is all speculation and based on the organization’s comments on if they would be open to signing him. The list I compiled includes the Cincinnati Reds, Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, and Houston Astros.
I understand the list is huge, but teams that are willing to sign the Cy Young are very secretive in the process. I’ll start with the Minnesota Twins. The Twins are in a spending frenzy, they just signed Carlos Correa to a six-year $200 million contract. They want to win and have proved that through their spending. Bauer would join a good rotation with Sonny Gray, Joe Ryan, and Tyler Mahle, making this lineup ready to compete for the pennant this year.
The next team is the Cincinnati Reds. Most people who know the Cincinnati Reds know they do not want to spend money at all which makes this a head-scratcher. Until you realize that Trevor Bauer is only owed the league minimum which is $720,000. This is because since Bauer cleared waivers, the Dodgers will have to pay his remaining salary. Trevor Bauer’s Cy Young season happened to be with the Cincinnati Reds, Bauer is also very comfortable with this organization making this a sensible destination potential.
The Boston Red Sox is another team that would pursue Bauer. When the Red Sox were asking about the potential pursuit of Bauer, they would say; “The CBA has strict rules preventing teams to dismiss the idea of signing free agents.” Because of this answer, it makes me suspect that they would be in pursuit in some capacity. Whether they offer him or not is the anomaly, the Red Sox ranked in the bottom half of earned run average (ERA). This signing would bolster a pitching rotation the Red Sox have prioritized this offseason.
Another team that I favor to get the Cy Young is the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies were so short of their goal of a World Series. Philadelphia is looking to win the pennant again and return to the World Series, but this time to win it. Bauer being $720,000 should be enticing to the Phillies, Dave Dombrowski is not afraid of backlash and will do whatever it takes to win games. Bauer to the Phillies is something to keep an eye on.
The last team I think that will be pursuing Bauer is the Houston Astros. This is an interesting one because of the past Bauer has with the Astros. Bauer has reiterated how much he doesn’t like the Houston Astros organization because of the cheating scandal. He even went as far as to wear cleats with garbage cans painted on them. If Bauer can put the past behind him, he would join a stacked roster that will compete for another World Series, Bauer would compete for a Cy Young as well. If the Astros did go out of their way to sign him, they would be World Series favorites for 2023.
This was a hard list to compile because most organizations do not want the stigma of possibly signing Bauer. I believe behind closed doors these teams are discussing with Bauer’s agent, Rachel Luba, that they want to sign him. My absolute favorite to sign Bauer is the Cincinnati Reds, he’s cheap, he’s a starting pitcher, and they have had a fantastic relationship in the past with Bauer winning the Cy Young with them. It’s going to be up to the Reds to pursue him, if they do, Bauer will have an interesting decision to make.