Yankees are all but out of the Trevor Bauer sweepstakes for one main reason

New York Yankees, Trevor Bauer

The New York Yankees were the hardest hit team regarding revenue in the MLB, which suggests that they won’t be as aggressive in free agency as fans are normally used to.

On a yearly basis, the Yankees target the top players, and they landed arguably the best pitcher in all of baseball last off-season in Gerrit Cole. However, their “white whale” might not exist this time around, as theoretically, it would have been Cincinnati Reds star Trevor Bauer.

Bauer has run a campaign so far following the end of the World Series, suggesting his desire to join a multitude of teams. Driving up his own price tag and marketing himself is only beneficial to Bauer, and he listed the Yankees as one of the teams that need starting pitching help and opened up his availability. He even went as far as to de-escalate a feud between himself and Cole dating back to college.

However, the Yankees are all but out of the Trevor Bauer race, as they simply don’t have the cash flow to spend aimlessly in free agency, and I imagine Brian Cashman will take a more conservative approach this time around, filling essential needs and staying under the $210 million luxury tax threshold.

With three starting pitchers set to hit free agency, the Yankees will have about $52 million opening up, let alone $21 million from Jacoby Ellsbury’s contract. While the Yankees have plenty of money to spend, staying below the luxury tax threshold, they are currently in is essential. They don’t want to be spending more money for no reason, especially after a tumultuous campaign that saw them lose record-breaking revenue.

The Yankees should stay out of the Trevor Bauer sweepstakes:

The primary issue with targeting Bauer is that he will likely set the market for starters this off-season. He had a fantastic 2020 campaign, finishing with a 1.73 ERA, striking out 100 batters over 73 innings. He threw two shutouts, winning five games and giving up just nine HRs. Overall, he was stellar and is deserving of a lucrative deal, but the Yankees have bigger fish to fry and are optimistic about Luis Severino’s timetable for return.

Severino is expected to return in July 2021, which would indicate that he would be ready to begin the regular season. I imagine the Yankees will ease him back into things, but gaining him back in the rotation would be a major factor.

Nonetheless, I do expect the Yankees to go out and sign another starter to slide in behind Cole, and former Tampa Bay Rays’ pitcher Charlie Morton might fit the bill, monetarily.

The Reds slapped Bauer with the qualifying offer, meaning if the Yankees signed them, they would have to give up a draft pick — that is already a deterrent for them.