Not that it was unexpected by any means, but right-handed starting pitcher Trevor Bauer has rejected the Cincinnati Reds qualifying offer for the 2021 season that would have paid him $18.9M. His agent, Rachel Luba, tweeted out that while Bauer is turning down the offer it does not mean he isn’t not willing to return to Cincinnati.
Trevor Bauer has rejected the QO but not the Reds, & he looks forward to speaking w/them & all other interested teams thru Free Agency
The qualifying offer extended to Trevor Bauer will get the Cincinnati Reds an additional draft pick as compensation if Bauer signs with another organization this offseason. If he returned to the Reds they will not get an additional draft pick – but they would get Bauer and that trade off seems like a good one. The compensation that Cincinnati would get in terms of a draft pick depends on the value of the deal he signs elsewhere (if he does). If he were to only go with a 1-year deal, that could work against the Reds quite a bit as the cut-off point is a $50M deal in terms of landing a pick after the 1st round or not.
When it comes to Trevor Bauer, he’s long talked about only signing 1-year deals. This year, though, as he approached free agency he backed off of that a little bit and noted he was open to multi-year offers. His agent also noted that he’d be open to pitching in Japan if the deal were right.
In 2020, Bauer put up arguably the best season of any pitcher in the National League. He was named as one of the finalists for the Cy Young Award in the National League along with Yu Darvish of the Chicago Cubs and Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets. Bauer’s 1.73 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, and .159 batting average against were all best in the National League. We’ll find out next week whether or not the Reds have their first ever Cy Young Award winner or not.
If Cincinnati wants to bring Bauer back, and it seems fair to say that they do, it’s not going to be cheap. If a short term deal can be had, it’s going to be for a lot more money per year than a long term deal would be that has more money overall guaranteed, but at a lower annual rate. In both scenarios, Bauer is going to get paid and he’s going to get paid very well.