Right before Christmas, former General Manager of both the New York Mets and Baltimore Orioles Jim Duquette, now of MLB Network Radio, joined SNY for a bit and spoke about how Trevor Bauer – a target of the Mets – was looking in free agency. Among the things Duquette noted is that Bauer wasn’t going to be accepting any one year offers. After a long period of time before he reached free agency of speaking about only taking deals that were one year in length so he could go compete for a World Series every year and pitch in those types of favorable situations, when reality came around to actually being a free agent, that mindset seems to have shifted some.

For the Cincinnati Reds that is both good news and bad news. Starting with the bad – if Cincinnati was going to realistically make a run at Trevor Bauer, it was going to likely be in the way of a short term, higher dollar contract rather than a long term but lower dollar per year contract.

But, if the Reds aren’t going to sign Trevor Bauer – and it seems more and more likely each day that they won’t – then Bauer not taking a deal that short works in their favor. Since Cincinnati offered the reigning Cy Young Award winner a qualifying offer and he turned it down, the Reds draft pick compensation is tied to the dollar amount that his contract he signs is valued at. Anything he signs that is worth $50M or more gives the Reds a draft pick following the 1st round in 2021. But if he were to sign a deal for less than that, then they would get a draft pick following the 2nd round in 2021. A one year deal for a player the caliber of Bauer, coming off of the year he just had, there’s not really a comparison. We haven’t seen that happen before. But it’s hard to imagine a deal for more than $50M would be signed for one season.

But even if Trevor Bauer were to sign a deal that was just two years, then $50M seems more than likely, and of course, anything beyond that gets the Reds exactly where they hoped to be if and when he signed elsewhere. While it’s not their hopeful outcome – which would be to bring Bauer back – it’s the next best thing given the circumstances.

32 Responses

  1. LDS

    I would have liked to have seen the Reds re-sign Bauer. But realistically that’s not going to happen. And with the Reds current cost cutting moves and suggestions of trading Mouse, why would any FA, Gregorius etc, sign with the Reds only to be shuffled off in the coming season:?

    • Stock

      the advantage to the player would be any team trading for Didi is in the playoff picture so the chances of making the playoffs is pretty good.

  2. CFD3000

    I was hoping that the prospect of playing for a team with playoff aspirations, in an environment that embraces most of Bauer’s unique approach, in a situation where he might make the difference to out the Reds over the top would be very appealing to Bauer. Sadly there does not seem to be a match between Trevor’s (rightful) interest in also being very well paid and the Reds willingness to pay him (or anyone) well. Penny wise and pound foolish. So given that he is almost certainly gone, and a multi-year deal will almost certainly be worth more than $50M, this is a positive, albeit minor, development.

  3. Bred

    Neither Bauer nor his agent have disputed this report. In the past, Bauer has tweeted back at authors of speculation. Perhaps this report is accurate. Regardless, I don’t think the cost cutting Reds would sign him anyway.

  4. Stock

    Mine awaited moderation one time because I mistyped my name. It may be something as simple as it thinks you are a new poster.

  5. TR1

    The Rays are getting quite a haul for Snell. If pitching on reasonable contract bring in that much, then Reds should definitely try to move Gray or Castillo. Snell had one dominant, Cy Young year, but that is really all.

  6. D Ray White

    And, to make matters worse, it makes it less likely that the Reds get a bunch of prospects from San Diego for Sonny Gray. San Diego has some nice pieces to offer, and now a few of them are gone. One less suitor for Gray and his attractive contract.

    It seems like the Reds are banking on the development of Lodolo/Greene, and better years from Miley, Castillo, and Lorenzon. In other words, we’re back to hope as a strategy.

  7. Sliotar

    …. “We’re back to hope as a strategy”.

    No one in the NL Central has gotten better, and no one looks to be trying too hard to spend money.


    From link ….

    “Cardinals might not be willing to spend what it would take to improve offensively.”
    “Brewers were a sub-.500 team and declined a $4.5 million option on their best offensive player from 2020 (Jedd Gyorko)”

    • Sliotar

      Gray/Castillo plus Mahle (if he overcome the mistake pitches he has most starts) …
      is the basis for best rotation in division … plus, who knows with Antone and Lorenzen.

      Gray can be dealt next winter and still get a good return.

      Krall has (so far) cut payroll without gutting the team… and has kicked tires on selling high on virtually anyone, which seems like good due diligence.

      Krall may turn out to be a failure, but it feels like he has some ideas to get through a tricky 2021 besides “hope.”

      • Schottzie

        It’s still early so it’s difficult to agree with your assessment. That said, the Reds have a reputation as tire kickers when it comes to making strategic, long term moves, choosing aggressive, splashy signings and PR driven trades instead. It’d be a sham if spring training begins and the Reds aren’t either drastically improved offensively or haven’t traded their marquee players for a chance to build around an underrated young core.

    • Hotto4Votto

      It’s the hope that kills you.

      • MBS

        Ted Lasso does not like that saying. Believe

      • Hotto4Votto

        No he does not. Ted Lasso is great. Wish he could be the Reds manager.

  8. west larry

    Here’s hoping one of the wealthy teams sign Bauer for 52 million or more. I have mixed feelings about trading Grey. If we can get a return like San Diego gave up for Snell, trade him. It would take more than that to get Castillo straight up for players/prospects. Maybe we’ve cut enough salary, we could keep all of these players and pick up a meh shortstop until Garcia is ready.

  9. Jcaf78

    Things could always be worse. Maybe we should give the 2004 alumni a call and see if their up to playing some ball again. Remember that we slashed our 2003 $59M payroll to $46M in 2004 and we’re still able to piece this group of all stars together.
    1 Danny Graves $6,000,000
    2 Paul Wilson $3,500,000
    3 Cory Lidle $2,750,000
    4 Jimmy Haynes $2,500,000
    5 John Riedling $650,000
    6 Todd Jones $500,000
    7 Aaron $360,000
    8 Jose Acevedo $340,000
    9 Brian Reith $327,250
    10 Phillip Norton $303,500
    11 Ryan Wagner $302,500
    12 D.J. Mattox $300,000
    13 Josh Hall $300,000
    14 Todd Van Poppel $300,000

    • Kevin Patrick

      I had so much hope for Van Poppel…sigh.

    • Redsvol

      oh man JCAF, that was a walk down memory lane. Thanks for that. I think most reasonable Reds fans that have been around since 2004 would have to agree that our pitching talent is definitely better than it used to be.

  10. Gregmlb

    If the Reds got that from SD for Grey I’m not sure I would be all that thrilled. They got a pitcher who hadn’t pitched above A ball before pitching limited ML innings last season. Mejia seems to not really be a catcher and his hitting is nowhere near what people thought it would be. Then a kid that was only drafted last season who is years away and catching prospect that also years away. TB knows what they are doing but this seems like not enough for a pitcher of his caliber. The Reds gave SD their top 2 prospects plus 2 other nice pieces for Latos.

    • citizen54

      TB got a little more value than they gave up in the trade. That pitcher who hasn’t pitched above A ball is a top 10 prospect and is a better pitching prospect than anyone currently in the Reds farm system. His value alone is close to Snell’s. The other players TB received are pretty much gravy.

      The Reds should have been following TB’s example of building a team with talented cost controlled players that you can always trade rather than splurging in free agency on immovable contracts or trading for players with one year of control. It should tell you something when a team that was just in the World Series is willing to trade one their best pitchers just to make the team better in the future. Meanwhile the Reds seem to be perpetually be in YOLO mode.

      • Gregmlb

        I don’t see how a guy pitched in 17 innings last season has about the same value as Snell. Prospects are nothing more than prospects until they actually prove their worth on an MLB diamond. They should’ve been able to get another legit prospect to go along with Patino. Like I said before, TB has the track record of identifying young talent they can develop. I did like your comment about how they make moves to constantly help the future.

      • citizen54

        Check out https://www.baseballtradevalues.com/. It gives you a better idea of how much individual players are worth in the trade market.

        The reason some prospects have more value than MLB players even though the prospects might have little or no MLB experience is because they are projected to be future stars or at least future regular players. Since they are being paid the league minimum, their trade value to the team will be much higher than a vet who has the same production but is being paid at market rates. Obviously, as we have seen, prospects don’t always pan out and that why usually the team will receive more value in prospects than the value of the talent they are trading away.

      • Redsvol

        there is absolutely no single prospect with 17 innings of terrible MLB performance that has the same value as a Blake Snell on a reasonable contract for 3 more years. It may work out for the Rays but it will definitely work out for the Padres. Well done Padres!

      • Michael E

        Proven veterans, like Snell, don’t always pan out either. Same with Darvish. Who is to say San Diego won’t look like chumps this time next year, with a horrible Darvish 2021 and Snell arm-injury or vice-versa, while being on the hook for big money? Vets acquired in trades aren’t exactly sure things. I sure would NOT want to trade for past-prime Darvish given his injury track record and years of not meeting expectations, and banking on repeat 2020s.

    • Doc

      While it is true that prospects don’t always work out, it’s also true that major leaguers who have performed don’t always work out. MLM Trade Rumors does not rate this as a lopsided trade.

  11. Stock

    The Rays did get a nice haul for Snell though.

    a top 10 prospect.
    A 45 prospect (Ala India, Calihan. Hinds or Siani)
    A prospect that would fall in the 15-20 range for the Reds and Mejia who used to be a top prospect and as recently as 2019 was a 50 prospect (top 5 for the Reds).

    It may eliminate the Padres as a trade venue for Gray. But it looks like they lose Clevinger and Lamet. If you are looking to contend you may want another SP

  12. Rod Andrews

    Lots of good speculation all around, but I can be more accurate than anyone else. Just give me to October.

  13. Doc


    I went to the trade values site and got confused. It has a FEATURED TRADES section in which it shows the Blake Snell trade, but right below it is shown a Suarez trade. Above those it shows a RECENT TRADES section that lists the Darvish trade to SD, but MLB Trade Rumors hadn’t yet carried a confirmation.

    How does one look at this site and know what trades have happened and what is pure speculation?

    • citizen54

      I think all of the trades are speculation submitted by readers. The Snell trade is actual only because someone went in and put in the actual players.

  14. Redsvol

    looks like some MLB trades will start happening now that market value for hitters (Josh Bell trade) and pitchers (Snell, Darvish trades) has been established this off season. Looks like teams can expect 1 solid prospect and filler if they also want to cash in before the player declines and just some mid-level prospects if its purely a salary dump. Doesn’t look like a great time to trade above average talent if you’re looking for a big haul. Probably better to wait till the trading deadline unless we’re desperate to unload salary.

    • Michael E

      I was kinda hoping to see a great deal one morning after trading Gray or Castillo for eye-popping return, but I think you’re right. Darvish is NOT a good comparison, he is past his prime years and a BIG regression or injury is more likely than a repeat 2020. Snell just had injury, but looked like his old self and not quite that old.

      If they don’t get a great (high end, not lots of spare parts) return for Gray or Castillo, I hope no trade is made and as you said, wait till July and see what can be had if we’re already 12+ games out of division lead. Sadly, with Reds luck, both pitchers will be having good first halves and suddenly go on extended DL in early July. That is the only reason I hate waiting till July deadline…the risk of Reds bad luck ending in injury and sudden plummet in trade value.

  15. Kevin Patrick

    Well…all I can say with hindsight being 20/20… is that maybe the Iglesias trade wasn’t all that bad after all. I mean, if all you get for a Cy Young award winner that’s controllable is peanuts and all you get for Darvish is peanuts and have to pay money…I mean…sheesh! Can you imagine being a free agent right now? …and asking “how many teams would rather pay for me than just use some triple a guy and replace him with some prospect from high single a?” There will be some good players that don’t play.

  16. Kim Henry

    I’m a first time responder so bare with me. A life long Reds fan (since mid 60’s). Attended my first game at Crosley field in 1967. Reds have struggled for several years and went and spent some money last year. Yes, a poor appearance in playoffs but overall, a good year, especially the last month when the team seemed to start jelling. Now all I hear is tearing the team down and starting over. Losing Bauer is big but expected. Trading Iglesias was semi big (I’ve never been a big fan of his), but the thought of trading two of the best pitchers in the game is CRAZY. Start the season with the team we saw improve last year (except need for shortstop) and if they flop, then use them as trade bait at trade deadline. The “haul” they might get will be no higher now than at trade deadline when contenders tend to move young players for players to help them get to the playoffs. I have confidence in the team we now have: selling them short now would be yet another bad move on management’s part. FANS deserve more than STARTING OVER year after year after year.