In my article the other day, I talked about the hot stove potentially heating up this week. Well, it looks like it’s getting pretty damn warm.
Earlier this morning, Ken Rosenthal said on MLB Network that the Dodgers could be a team to keep an eye on in regards to free-agent Trevor Bauer. He said if both sides were to come together on a short deal, it would make sense.
Then about 30 minutes after everyone was freaking about that quick blurb from Rosenthal, ESPN’s Jeff Passan dropped this note.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are monitoring the market for right-hander Trevor Bauer and could be a player depending on the price, sources tell ESPN. Focus for the Dodgers now remains on a right-handed infield bat, but Bauer and the Dodgers remain a possibility as his market develops.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 20, 2021
Now, this doesn’t really come as too much of a surprise as the Dodgers have had their name around Bauer all offseason. However, many expect the Dodgers to only be a match if he would be willing to do a short-term deal. LA has shown interest in these kind of deals in the past, most notably when they were involved in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes a few years ago. The Dodgers offered him a four-year deal worth at least $40 million per season.
Instead of signing a contract for more years, Bauer could opt for a one or two-year contract for more money per year, then test the market out again in the future.
Only Mookie Betts is currently in the books beyond the 2022 season, though Cody Bellinger and Walker Buehler will be quite expensive by then. Bauer would blow them past the CBT threshold in 2021, but a short-term, high-AAV deal is always appealing to them for a talent like that. https://t.co/UwcNa4Pk6Y— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) January 20, 2021
For the longest time, Bauer said he was only interested in one year deals. In his latest Youtube video, he talked about the fact that nobody truly knows what he’s looking for in a contract. There have been rumors he’s seeking $200 million or more, which hey... same here.
But, maybe he still wants to do one-year contracts?
The Dodgers don’t need starting pitching. Entering the year they’ll actually have too many arms for a five-man rotation. However, over a 162-game season, depth is needed. We’ve seen it too many times. Clayton Kershaw has an injury history. David Price hasn’t pitched in over a year. Julio Urias, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin are all still young and still have things to work on.
If Bauer is added to LA’s rotation, who becomes the odd man out? Maybe the Dodgers work a six-man rotation. Bauer mentioned in his video he wants to pitch every fourth day, so that would give guys like Kershaw and Price more rest. It would also open a potential deal for either Gonsolin or May, but I don’t think the Dodgers would want to move either one of those guys.
Could Andrew Friedman have taken a look at what the Padres have done with their starting rotation this offseason and wanted to make an improvement? Sure. Your guess is as good as mine as to what the Dodgers want to do. With Spring Training just a little over a month away, things are about to get exciting very quickly.