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 MLB.com. 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.
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