New York Mets: Is Trevor Bauer Worth A Lucrative One-Year Deal?

trevor bauer, New York Yankees
Sep 30, 2020; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Trevor Bauer (27) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the fifth inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The always controversial Trevor Bauer is still looming on the free-agent market as his options continue to dwindle. After the New York Mets opted against signing George Springer, it opened the door to ponder Bauer’s future in New York. Will the Mets strike and create the dream rotation with baseball’s most controversial player?

The opinions on Bauer are on two opposite sides of the spectrum. Some view him as Curt Schilling with a stronger social media presence, and others see him as an innovative figure in a sport that rejects individualism. Bauer and some of his devoted followers are similar to a mini-army where they have harassed and bullied anyone who differs in opinion. It has always been about speaking his mind instead of what is right, but both are always the same to Bauer.

Whether his off the field antics plays in the decision making or not, the Mets can ill-afford another organizational issue after the Jared Porter scandal. Unless Bauer sends unsolicited photos of his junk, there will not be much stopping any interested team from paying a high amount for his services. The lower Bauer keeps his ERA to higher the tolerance teams will have for his off the field acts.

On-Field Talent

There is no denying Bauer’s 2020 Cy Young award-winning season. His competition level was below average as the AL/NL Central was the weakest region in MLB. To combat the “Mickey Mouse” Cy Young season, Bauer pitched his best against the Atlanta Braves in the postseason. Bauer may not pitch to a sub-two ERA again, but his fastball/curveball spin rates and whiff rates show a high level of success is sustainable. He also is devoted to his training regimen and always keeps baseball his main focus.

The Mets did not give Springer a six-year deal due to his age, and they should take the same approach with Bauer. Despite the prolific 2020, Bauer only has one full season of an ERA under four. Former teammate and current Met, Carlos Carrasco, has a lower career ERA in more innings pitched. The obvious difference is in age as Carrasco is heading into his age-34 season while Bauer just turned 30.

If the Mets are serious with Bauer, the one-year deal keeps give them plenty of options for future offseasons. As the second starter in the rotation, his pressure to repeat last season’s production will be lower. One-year gives the Mets insurance to part ways if the off-field theatrics or performance hurt their success. Both sides will learn that quickly because Bauer will be on full display in the huge fishbowl of New York City for a team with World Series aspirations.