You are likely shocked to find out that the Cincinnati Reds did not sign Trevor Bauer this offseason. The first ever winner of the Cy Young Award in franchise history signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers today. Jon Heyman of MLB Network was the first to report this. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com is reporting that the deal is for $102,000,000 over three years, but has opt outs for each season.
In an offseason that has seen the Reds sign just two free agent contracts – Edgar Garcia and Sean Doolittle – for a combined $2,100,000, the reallocation of salary that was talked about earlier in the offseason hasn’t gone to players outside of the organization. And it hasn’t gone to Trevor Bauer, either. It’s still possible that a move could be made to bring someone in that could change that, but it’s where the organization sits right now.
As for Trevor Bauer, he’ll be enjoying his new city and his new team. After a disastrous first go with the Reds after being acquired in July of 2019 where he posted an ERA of 6.39 in 10 starts, Bauer came out in 2020 and dominated the National and American League Central divisions. In his 11 starts he posted a National League best 1.73 ERA in 11 starts, throwing two complete games, walking 17 batters, and picking up 100 strikeouts in 73.0 innings pitched. It was a season good enough that he landed 27 of the 30 first place votes for the Cy Young Award and ran away with it.
It’s been a while since anyone has seemingly believed that the Reds would re-sign Trevor Bauer. For Cincinnati, though, they don’t come away entirely empty handed. The organization extended a qualifying offer to the right-handed pitcher after the season, which he declined. Since Bauer signed a deal worth more than $50,000,000 this means that the Reds will pick up an additional draft pick between the 1st and 2nd rounds of the 2021 draft in July. If Bauer had signed a deal for less than $50,000,000 the Reds would have picked up a pick between the 2nd and 3rd rounds in the draft.
The Reds are going to have to replace Trevor Bauer in their rotation, and it’s not going to be easy to do in terms of getting the kind of production they got from him in 2020. Of course, even bringing back Bauer wasn’t likely to replicate that production, either. It would seem that Cincinnati will go with Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, Tyler Mahle, and Wade Miley in the 1-4 spots of the rotation. The final spot in the rotation is up for grabs and there are plenty of candidates that could have a legitimate say in who the spot goes to. Michael Lorenzen would seem to be the front runner for the spot, but Tejay Antone, José De León, Jeff Hoffman, Riley O’Brien, Brandon Bailey, Tony Santillan, and perhaps Nick Lodolo could all put together a strong showing in the spring and grab the spot.