For the first time in his career, Trevor Bauer has avoided heading to the arbitration table. In his third and final season of being arbitration eligible, Bauer came to an agreement with the Cincinnati Reds for a 1-year deal for $17,500,000 according to Mark Feinsand of He had gone to an arbitration hearing the previous two seasons with the Cleveland Indians – winning his case both times. Bauer was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to get $18,600,000.

While the deal reached with Trevor Bauer was the largest, it wasn’t the only one that Cincinnati accomplished on Friday afternoon. As we wrote about earlier today, the team also agreed to a deal with Michael Lorenzen – a 1-year deal to avoid arbitration worth $3,725,000. As the afternoon has gone along, more deals have come, too. Bauer had two very different seasons in 2019. With Cleveland he was an above-average pitcher in 156.2 innings where he posted a 3.79 ERA. But after arriving in Cincinnati he was among the worst starters in the league over his final 10 games (his only 10 with the Reds), posting a 6.39 ERA in 56.1 innings. Overall his ERA jumped up to 4.48 on the year in his 213.0 total innings pitched.

The Reds agreed to a deal with right-handed starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani for the 2020 season. His deal with Cincinnati is for $5,975,000 as first reported by Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer. He, like Bauer, is in his final year of arbitration and will become a free agent following the 2020 season unless he agrees to a contract extension. DeSclafani was projected to get $5,200,000 by MLB Trade Rumors. The right-handed starter had his best season in 2019, posting a 3.89 ERA in 166.2 innings pitched over his 31 starts for the Reds.

Backup catcher Curt Casali also came to an agreement on a 1-year deal with the Reds on Friday afternoon. He and Cincinnati avoided heading to the arbitration table by agreeing to a deal worth $1,462,500. Bobby Nightengale was also the first to report on this deal. He is in his first year of arbitration and won’t be a free agent until after the 2022 season. Casali was projected to get $1,700,000 by MLB Trade Rumors. During the 2019 season he hit .251/.331/.411 and threw out 24% of opposing base runners.

That leaves only one player remaining that was arbitration eligible that hasn’t come to an agreement for 2020 yet – right-handed reliever Matt Bowman. Like Casali, Bowman is in his first year of arbitration. The reliever is projected to get $900,000 for 2020 in arbitration by MLB Trade Rumors.

Once all of the dust has settled with Matt Bowman, we will update the site with updated payroll numbers to put everything into perspective and see how the actual numbers agreed to today change the projected payroll from what the assumptions were that the players would get in arbitration.

Photo Credit: Erik Drost/Flickr. Licensing for the photo can be found here.

17 Responses

  1. Hotto4Votto

    Seems like the Reds are going to save a little bit of money compared to what was projected. Not a ton, but every bit helps for a team still looking to add. I can’t believe that Bowman is going to be far off the projection to make much of a difference.
    Disco got a bit more than expected, Lorenzen and Casali a little less than projected. Bauer taking over a million less than projected (and avoiding arbitration at all) is a win for the FO in my opinion. It’s good to get more firm totals so we’ll know exactly where the budget stands.

  2. Tom Mitsoff

    Bauer’s previous arbitration processes with Cleveland were contentious. This could be a very good sign that he and his agent can deal with the Reds front office on a civil basis. Bauer is a Driveline devotee, and I would think the Reds’ recent move to hire the leader of Driveline could potentially create a positive relationship which might lead to Bauer wanting to stay with Cincinnati after his contract is up.

    • Private Gripweed

      I hope you’re correct, but prior evidence indicates otherwise. Bauer has consistently gone on record saying he would only sign one-year deals. Additionally, I think Boddy’s contract with the Reds still allows him to continue working fully with Driveline, so Bauer could potentially still receive the full benefit of training with Boddy and Driveline despite pitching for another team in 2021. Either way, I hope the Reds and camp Bauer can work something out – I’ve become an even bigger Bauer fan after reading The MVP Machine.

      • jupand

        Isn’t it possible to sign a series of 1 year deals with the same team ????

        I don’t get all this fixation on 1 year deals excluding signing with the same team

      • Colt Holt

        Pretty sure that Boddy is still involved with Driveline, but not in a coaching capacity. Pretty sure Boddy’s contract restricts him from working with players through driveline.

  3. Tom

    Looks like Bowman has also agreed to a deal.

  4. RedNat

    Lindor signs with Cleveland.

    Just thinking the only shortstop we have that is mlb ready is Galvis. Unless we expect him to play 162 games we have to make a trade for a serviceable shortstop and other teams know that. So we are really going to have to overpay even if it is for a backup

    • Dawson

      I have no problem with Galvis starting 150+ games with Farmer filling in for those other 12 or fewer games. Galvis is better than he is getting credit for in my opinion and twice he has played 162 games in a season (not necessarily all starts). Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t mind seeing SS upgraded, but he could do quite well as a Red. I still would hate to see the Reds trade away Senzel, Greene, Lodolo, T. Stephenson, or Garcia in most deals for a SS.

      • TR

        If upgrading SS is not in the works and he’s still available, I’d like to see Jose Iglesias back with the Reds.

      • Hotto4Votto

        FYI….Iglesias signed with Baltimore recently.

      • Jefferson Green

        Jose Iglesisas is an employee of the Baltimore Orioles.

  5. Scott C

    Good Day for the Reds front office. Now can they get a shortstop upgrade. So far they are doing well but that is the big test.

  6. MK

    Hopefully this sets a positive tone for the future. It seems the Reds have set a more positive tone with Bauer than the Indians could accomplish. Hopefully this speaks well for the future and his goal of one-year contracts.

  7. GhostRunner

    Will the Reds let DeSclafani walk after this season?