Last night saw Trevor Bauer take the mound at Wrigley Field and do what Trevor Bauer has done in 2020: Dominate.

Bauer took a no-hitter into the 5th inning before a Victor Caratini single to lead off the inning. That would be the only hit until the 8th inning when the Cubs added two more singles, with Ildemaro Vargas’ 2-out single to put runners on the corners and lead to Bauer’s exit of the game after 7.2 innings. Lucas Sims came in and got the final out of the inning without allowing a run, giving Bauer a final line of 7.2 innings, 3 hits, 0 runs, no walks, and 10 strikeouts.

Prior to the game there was some buzz about the starting pitching match up between Trevor Bauer and Yu Darvish. If anyone in baseball had an argument to having had a better season than Bauer it was Darvish, who entered the night with a 1.44 ERA through 50.0 innings with 8 walks and 63 strikeouts. It was Bauer that came out ahead on the night, with one big mistake from Darvish costing him as he allowed a 3-run homer to Mike Moustakas in the 1st inning.

After the game it was the Chicago Cubs starter heaping praise on Trevor Bauer, saying he believes that the Reds right-hander is the best pitcher on this planet.

The first question is simple: Who is the best pitcher on the other planets?

But the belief of Yu Darvish about Trevor Bauer begs the question: Is he the best pitcher on this planet? TO THE NUMBERS!

When it comes to ERA, Trevor Bauer jumped up to third best in the Major Leagues by lowering his ERA to 1.74. He trails former teammate Shane Bieber (1.25) and Jacob deGrom (1.69). When it comes to baserunners, Bauer ranks second in WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) at 0.79, trailing only Kenta Maeda (0.72).  Bauer ranks second among starting pitchers in batting average against at .155, trailing just Corbin Burnes (.142). He also ranks third in strikeout percentage at 36.0%, trailing Bieber (42.9%) and deGrom (37.6%).

The Cincinnati Reds have never had a Cy Young winner in the history of the franchise. They’ve had a few runner-ups, with Tom Seaver in 1981, Mario Soto in 1983, Danny Jackson in 1988, Pete Schourek in 1995, and Johnny Cueto in 2014 all finishing second in the voting. But since the award came into existence in 1956, the Reds haven’t been able to celebrate a pitcher of their own finishing in first place in the voting. Is this the year that it happens?

There are 17 games remaining for the Reds this year. That should get Trevor Bauer three more starts – and there could be a possibility that he gets four if the Reds were to choose to allow him to pitch on a 4-day schedule moving forward instead of a 5-day schedule – which is something they have discussed potentially allowing him to do, but have not followed through on it just yet.

You could probably make an argument right now that Trevor Bauer should win the Cy Young Award if the season were to end today. But you could also make an argument for Jacob deGrom or Yu Darvish, too. Cincinnati is still chasing a playoff spot, and they’re going to need Bauer to keep doing exactly what he’s done all season if they want to not only get into the playoffs, but advance in them. But a Cy Young race down the stretch isn’t so bad, either.

55 Responses

  1. Jonathan

    If he really only wants a 1 year contract for 2021, how much should the Reds give him realistically that he would accept?

      • JB

        Serious question Doug.. Do you think the Reds could offer him this much being a small market team ? What do you believe the chances are he is here next year?

      • Doug Gray

        Can they? Absolutely. Will they? I doubt it.

        But it’s also a bit of a weird territory – guys like him, with his talent – they just don’t sign 1 year deals. So we don’t really know how a team like the Reds would approach such a situation. They probably aren’t going to be in the position to go 7-years, $210M. The long term there on a pitcher, who could get injured and never be remotely the same again, is just seemingly way too large for a small market team. But with 1 year, the risk is infinitely smaller. You just never actually get to see that risk/reward question asked because guys worth that don’t offer that service because they can get $125+ million guaranteed.

      • RedsGettingBetter

        Well, consider that Bauer has said on several occasions that he prefers to pitch in a contending team, leaving aside the amount of money he could get…

  2. AllTheHype

    That trade (Trammell, Puig, Moss) looks pretty good right now, considering Trammell was the only real asset lost and he’s been traded around like a sack of potatoes after a subpar AA season last year. Meanwhile, the Reds stand to pick up an end-of-first round draft pick after QO to Bauer. Underrated trade by the FO comes back to shine.

    • citizen54

      It’s still a bad trade from the Reds’ perspective because they gave up cost controlled young talent for a guy with 1.3 years of control and they did this when they weren’t competing for a playoff spot. If Bauer would have been the one player to put the Reds over the top then ya maybe make that trade. As it is, even with Bauer, at best the Reds are a .500 team or maybe slightly better. They still can’t compete with the Dodgers, Padre, Braves.

      As for the comp pick, it will either be in the 30-36 range or the 66-74 range. Seeing as how Bauer has stated he is only willing to sign one year contracts, the pick will probably be after Competitive Balance Round B so between the second and third round.

      • AllTheHype

        I guess that depends on how valuable you perceive that “cost controlled talent” to be, given that he had a miserable performance last year. Obviously you think highly of said “talent”. I think the Reds and Pads disagree with you.
        As for QO, I’ll believe Bauer takes a one year when I see it. He’s already walked back that comment some.

      • Hanawi

        Agree. At the time, Trammell had a lot of value. They also gave up Moss bc they apparently hate having LHP in the system. If they didn’t believe in Trammell, I would have liked to have seen them pursue a prospect trade to get a controlled SS, C, or even another young pitcher. Remember the Indians flipped him for 3 players, including Reyes who has an OPS over .900 this year. Reds would have been better off with that package.

      • citizen54

        Ya I would have much preferred seeing Trammell flipped for three young guys rather than 1.3 years of Bauer.

  3. Bill

    IIRC, Danny Jackson came on second to Orel Hershiser in ‘88. Good stuff. Turn it on Reds!!!

    • Doug Gray

      You do recall correctly. Thanks for the correction – It’s been fixed.

  4. CFD3000

    I’ve been saying since summer camp that the Reds need to be talking to Bauer about 2021. Given how well he’s pitched and how poorly the Reds have played I strongly suspect he’ll be gone after this year. But if the Reds somehow make the playoffs and he and Sonny Gray help them make a real run, that outcome combined with the Driveline connection just might make a difference in his consideration of another year in Cincinnati. If he wants to pitch every fourth day from here on in, and that helps him decide to stay I’m all for it. In any case, it’s been fun to watch!

    • jim walker

      Given Bauer’s clear reactions to some of the defensive plays around him, if they get as far as asking what he would need to stay beyond $$$, he is probably going to tell them a real defense behind him

      • jazzmanbbfan

        And I wouldn’t blame him if the lack of defense is something he pointed to. It’s been far worse than I imagined and I didn’t think it would be good.

  5. Rut

    Hard to imagine Bauer getting the Cy nod if the Reds fail to make playoffs this year

  6. Jonathan

    Wasn’t José Rijo close in the early 90’s? Except for Maddux, I think he would have won a Cy Young…

    • Doug Gray

      Rijo finished top 5 twice, but never better than 4th.

      • Jonathan

        Looks like he had the highest WAR for a pitcher @ 7.2 in 93..but somehow finished 5th…

      • Doug Gray

        Pitching WAR is a garbage stat, so let’s start with pointing that out. But then let’s also note that WAR wasn’t really a thing anyone knew about in 1993.

  7. Mark Moore

    He gets the QO, no question about that. He won’t take it and we’ll get the pick WHEN he signs somewhere else.

    His floor going in during #embracetheweird was at least $25M and games like last night only escalate that from where I sit. Not sure $30M gets it done unless you are a near lock-down contender in 2021. Sad to say, we aren’t that. He wants a ring and will chase them one year at a time. I, for one, believe he means it.

    Pitch him every 4 days. Disco and Miley to the pen for the rest of this year. Maybe alternate Mahle and Antone … I don’t know. I do know it was fun to watch the “fierce” on his face last night.

    • Ghost_Runner

      I read on the Reds home page that the Cubs dugout was razzing him, and he was giving it back.
      Hoping he doesn’t sign with a team in the Reds division.

  8. Randy in Chatt

    Beating another CY Young candidate on the other guy’s home turf and the #1 team in the division SHOULD stick in the mind of the Cy Young voter’s minds…..but #embracethewerid is happening. Finishing with a playoff birth is HUGE.

    Another disappointing Red’s Cy Young finish in store????

    • jazzmanbbfan

      That Cy Young Candidate did the same to him the last time they faced each other so that’s kind of a wash in my opinion.

  9. Rednat

    i know i am in the minority here but i would rather have Puig and Trammel. Since about 2006 the reds have had this bizarre obsession for obtaining “pitching pitching pitching” . (quoting 700wlw’s own Alan Cutler)and it has gotten us absolutely NOWHERE!

    This is the best pitching staff (likely) the reds have had since 1940 and yet we will be battling the Pirates for 4 th place for the 6th year in a row. would anybody be shocked if we finished dead last in the central this year?

    i thought last year in July the franchise was finally starting to turn things around. we were playing pretty good baseball and then boom we trade Puig and we went Limp the rest of the year.

    i just think this franchise gives up way way way too much offensive talent for pitching and i believe we have to rethink this way of operating. we still have not learned from the Milt Papas – Frank Robinson trade imo

    • Doug Gray

      The problem is that they’ve never once been able to provide pitching internally, so they have to acquire it from the outside, and that’s not cheap if you want to acquire good pitching. In the last 25 years they have developed who? Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, Mike Leake – and I’ll give them credit for Luis Castillo, though I know some people won’t because he spent more time with the Marlins. That’s it. That’s what they’ve got to show over the last 25 years. Tyler Mahle’s kind of sitting around in hybrid “maybe” land still.

      They have tried to address that by hiring Kyle Boddy to restructure how the organization develops pitching – but that’s going to take time. But until they can figure out how to bring along their own guys more than once every six or seven years to be more than a #5 guy, they’re going to continue paying either a lot of money or a lot in talent to acquire the kind of pitching they’ll need to be good.

      • RedNat

        I agree that has been the weakness in the reds system for as long as i can remember. Developing pitchers.

    • Don

      Since Puig is a Free Agent and nobody in all of MLB thinks he could be an asset on their 28 man MLB roster or 60 man squad, I do not know why that would be consider a loss.

      MLB teams do no think Puig is valuable enough to occupy one of the 1800 baseball roster spots available in 2020.

      Glad the Reds got anything for Puig as they would not have resigned him for 2020 and they got a year of Bauer.

  10. Charlie Waffles

    Last night’s game by Bauer shows just how important it is for the Reds to re-sign him for 2021. With Castillo’s continued regression here in 2020, the Reds need a strong 1-2 combo at the top of the rotation. None of Castillo, Mahle, Antone, or Miley can fill those shoes for 2021. And Sims seems destined for the back of the bullpen.
    Bauer will be the top free agent pitcher, so the Reds will have their work cut out for them.

    • Marty K

      I don’t think Castillo has actually regressed much in 2020. I’ve seen some people souring on him and I don’t see it.

      Castillo has a 3.95 ERA which is below the league average of 4.51. From Fangraphs, his FIP is 2.85 and xFIP is 3.01 which are both very good. He also has a career high SO/9 and K/BB rate.

      Where he has been bitten is an unsustainable BABIP rate of .387 that’s driving his H/9 and WHIP way higher than they should be. His LOB% is also below league average.

      His exact velocity against is still 85.8, which is in line with his 2017 season. It appears he should be in line with positive regression in his hits while the rest of his stats don’t support negative regression in other categories. His ERA+ is still 126 on Bref, so he has still been above average.

      He does need to reduce his walks and pitch deeper into games, but his peripherals say he has still been an effective pitcher this year. Just with it being the 2020 Reds, Murphy’s Law is in full effect.

  11. bug

    Yes! Bauer is the best pitcher on the planet!!! Get him a lead, and it’s over. He’s a major competitor, and he’s very smart. Shame he’s had to pitch behind this weak offense. I don’t see how the Reds can afford to re-sign him,..but I surely hope they will. He’ll be a Yank or a Dodger, or whoever can afford to spend big bucks.

  12. kyblu50

    Do the other pitchers not pick his brain and try to develop from his advice ????

  13. TR

    Who knows but I’ve got a feeling Trevor likes playing in Cincinnati. He can pitch and he’s a leader and competitor. The front office should offer him the best annual contract possible.

  14. Johnnie Sparks

    Reds have scored 29 runs since Aug 31. Atl 29 in one gm with Duvall hitting 3 HR with 9 rib. Goes to show how horrible this offence is. When’s last time they had 3 hits in a inning? Over / under 5.5 hits tonight? Also who u take Sims or duval

  15. Johnnie Sparks

    Reds have scored 29 runs since Aug 31. Atl 29 in one gm with Duvall hitting 3 HR with 9 rib. Goes to show how horrible this offence is. When’s last time they had 3 hits in a inning? Over / under 5.5 hits tonight? Also who u take Sims or duval

  16. Johnnie Sparks

    Reds have scored 29 runs since Aug 31. Atl 29 in one gm with Duvall hitting 3 HR with 9 rib. When’s last time they had 3 hits in a inning? Over / under 5.5 hits tonight? Also who u take Sims or duval

  17. Johnnie Sparks

    Reds have scored 29 runs since Aug 31. Atl 29 in one gm with Duvall hitting 3 HR with 9 rib. When’s last time they had 3 hits in a inning? Over / under 5.5 hits tonight? Also who u take Sims or duval.

  18. Old-school

    Pay him $30 million.Its a 1 year cost and risk. Get younger elsewhere.

    Galvis $ 5 million goes off the books. Disco $4 million does too.
    Trade Iglesias and his $9 million as well as Barnhart 3 million. There’s $21 million.

    Play Stephenson/Garcia/Senzel and Winker at 4/9 spots at MLB minimum. Go with Mahle as the #4 and Antone as the swing man if Miley isn’t healthy. Sims and Garrett and Archie and Lorenzen return and anchor the bullpen . Greene and Lodolo should be ready by 2022.

    Trevor Bauer is a gem and a fiery competitor who is all about accountability. That’s what this franchise needs.

  19. IndyRedsFan

    I haven’t seen this discussed anywhere, but here goes.

    If he does leave Cincinnati, it will be a big disadvantage to the Reds if he sticks with his plans to sign a 1 year deal.

    If I understand the Free Agent compensation rules correctly, you only get a comp pick after the first round if the player you lose signs a contract in excess of 50 million. If he signs a contract for less than 50 million, you get a pick after the second round.

    So……assuming the above is correct, and that no one is going to give him 50 million for a 1 year deal, then the Reds better hope he signs a multi year contract.

  20. bug

    Trevor Bauer after last night’s game:

    “It’s kind of funny, I’ve got to give them props,” Bauer said in the post-game you can watch above. “They actually chirped all night and yelled at me all night. Normally when they get behind, they shut up real quick. I mean, even when I got taken out, they’re yelling ‘bye’ at me. I gave them a nice little wave and some other stuff because it was impressive that you can chirp at someone after he shoved it up your a** for 7 2/3 innings. So props to them on that.”

    Now you got to admit that is GREAT!!!! That’s why I love him. No way the Reds keep him. But if I were making the decisions, I’d do whatever it takes to keep him. Unload some dead weight, like Old-school said in an earlier post.

  21. Krozley

    Reds legend Pete Schourek finished 2nd in the Cy Young vote of 1995, losing to the unanimous winner, Greg Maddux.

    • Doug Gray

      The internet continues to fail me! I found a list and it didn’t have Jackson or Schourek on it as second place vote getters. Thanks for the heads up – I’ll go fix it.

  22. Don

    Bauer is in the top 3 MLB pitchers in 2020. Last night he was the best on the planet.

    He has given up a few to many HRs and walks to be the best on the planet for the season.

    Bieber has been the best in all of MLB so far in 2020. Has pitched more innings and given up fewer earned runs. Bieber is also pitching on average 2/3rds of an inning more per game.

    Bauer is in the conversation for best in the NL with DeGrom and Darvish.

    Of Gray gets 7+ shutout innings tonight, he puts himself back in the conversation as well for best in the NL

  23. Tom Mitsoff

    Bauer might be this year’s Gerrit Cole on the free agent market. The bidding will go up and up and up. We’ll see if he is truly committed to one-year contracts or not.

    My hunch is that if the season ended right now, there’s next to zero chance he’d be back in 2021. He’ll want to play with a winning team. But if this team somehow gets hot in the next couple of weeks, makes the playoffs, and then wins a series or two, things could change. I think he and Derek Johnson are of a like mind, and that probably is comforting to him.

    No way the Reds will get into a multiple-year bidding war. If Bauer will take a one-year deal, that’s a risk the Reds would probably be willing to take.

  24. Willie

    If some miracle Bauer helps the Reds to the playoffs, Offer him $25 million, why not

  25. DataDumpster

    Its been a distinct pleasure to watch Bauer pitch and compete but I can’t think of any reason why he would stay here. I’m just sorry they didn’t pitch him every 4th day. David Bell seemed to be open to the idea and I can’t think of any analytical data that would discourage the practice. As it became apparent immediately that Bauer was coming into a marvelous season, and the Reds had several candidates to both take off or fill in for the rest of the rotation, I can’t figure the downside. Any ideas, Doug, or others?

  26. Christopher Hoeb

    Votto needs to be a team player and restructure his contract to help resign Bauer and sign a free agent that can hit lead off. This team strikes out way to much andBarnhart needs to go.