Everyone knows that after another New York Yankees’ failed season, they need pitching help. They have lost three pitchers to free agency, Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and J.A. Happ. With that pitching need, the hot stove has been filled with talk of the Yankees acquiring free agent Trevor Bauer. Last night Bauer received one of the most prized baseball awards, the Cy Young Award for the National League’s best pitcher.Â That award is likely to set the hot stove ablaze.
It has been long known that the Yankees Gerrit Cole and the Reds Trevor Bauer have had a feud that dates back to their college days. In an after award news conference Bauer again brought up the feud. In recent months Bauer has made light of the feud and did again last night, saying he would have no problem pitching alongside Cole at Yankee Stadium.
“I have nothing wrong with Gerrit,” Bauer said. “We had our differences in college and that was nine or 10 years ago at this point. I’m a different person now than I was then. I’m sure the same is true for him.”
For the most part, the feud is a feud on Trevor Bauerâ€™s part, not the other way around. Cole went to high school at Orange Lutheran. After his senior year, the New York Yankees selected Cole in the first round, with the 28th overall selection of the 2008 Major League Baseball draft. Bauer attended Hart in Santa Clarita, California. Bauer was smart and graduated early, then attended UCLA. Cole refused the Yankee offer, instead attended UCLA. This is where the two high school baseball stars first met.
The first thing to understand is that both of these young men werenâ€™t typical college jocks, they were both brilliant and very academic, and both studied their pitching crafts to levels seldom seen. That is where the similarities ended. The two personalities are polar opposites. Cole is quiet and all business with an extreme work ethic. Bauerâ€™s mouth sometimes flapped when it shouldnâ€™t, and his work ethic early on was questionable, noted by his coaches. Cole also noted it called out Bauer for it. This is when the bad feelings between the two first came about.
Later Cole indicated that he felt that Bauer didnâ€™t have a future in baseball. What caused him to say that is anyoneâ€™s guess. But Bauer admits many said the same thing, but it intensified the hurt feelings when his competition, Cole, said it. At the end of their college careers, they both were at the top of their game and the most wanted in the 2008 draft. Cole was selected number one and Bauer number three, but the supposed feud went on for years. It should be noted that Cole has never spoken of the feud, and avoids talking about it, and to this day, doesnâ€™t talk to or look at Bauer.
Whether the feud is over or not is anyone’s guess. The one thing for sure is that Bauer will not add any fuel to the fire, preventing him from becoming a New York Yankee, should the Yankees go after him.
“At the end of the day, I want to win,” Bauer said. “I hate losing. It drives me nuts. And it’s pretty evident from watching him pitch and seeing his performances in the postseason and how into it he is, that he feels the same way. And I think if you look at trying to win a World Series, which is one of my goals every single year, you want to put the most intense competitors together, you want to put the best talent together, and go and see what you can do. Certainly, if I was given the opportunity to do that and play alongside him again, I’d be more than open to it.”
Until Bauer is signed with a new club, the Yankees’ talk having both Cole and Bauer will not go away. After all, a one-two pinch of Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer would be devastating to any opponent facing the Yankees. For the most part, it would completely solve their pitching problems and more, but will the Yankees be willing to spend for Bauer, who is sure to command big dollars? Probably not, having just spent $324 million for Cole, having to resign DJ LeMahieu and the arbitration raises they will have to give out this offseason. The top brass has also said that the Yankees want to stay below the $210 million luxury tax threshold.
It would seem that a pitching rotation of Cole, Bauer, Severino, German, and Tanaka would almost assure the New York Yankees and another trip to the World Series and a 28th World Championship they have been waiting for since 2009. One intriging question, based on him stating that his ultimate goal is winning a World Series, would he take a little less money to pitch alongside Cole to obtain that World Series ring he wants?