Trevor Bauer to Dodgers: National League Cy-Young pitcher Trevor Bauer has agreed to a contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.
Bauer, a North Hollywood native, ends his free agency circus by landing a three-year deal with the reigning World Series Champions. The contract is for $102 million total but comes with opt-outs after years one and two. Bauer has stated in the past that he does not plan to lock himself into a multi-year deal but this is as close to a loophole there is to that. His earnings in 2021 and 2022 (if he opts in) will be the highest for a single season in baseball history.
Trevor Bauer is set to make more money in 2021 than three current teams have on their payroll!
Trevor Bauer's 2021 contract: $40 million
Cleveland Indians 2021 payroll: $36.5 million
Pittsburgh Pirates 2021 payroll: $37.7 million
Baltimore Orioles 2021 payroll: $39.1 millon pic.twitter.com/ECCqMo8O2s
— Baseball Quotes (@BaseballQuotes1) February 5, 2021
Trevor Bauer to Dodgers 2021 Outlook
Bauer is coming off a Cy Young season with the Cincinnati Reds, spinning a 1.73 ERA last season in 11 starts. He struck out 100 batters and posted a stellar 0.795 WHIP (sub-1.000 for the first time in his career). Although Bauer did outperform his peripherals, notable improvements were made in his arsenal as he strung together the highest strikeout rate and the lowest walk rate of his career. Bauer’s home run rate was similar to past years but a career-high 90.9% left-on-base rate is a clear outlier. That should tick down between 70-80% as it was throughout his career.
Of course, the shortened season possibly played into him maintaining these stellar numbers along with a significantly weaker NL Central. Nevertheless, it’s not like the NL West is much of a light show outside of Los Angeles and San Diego. Bauer should take a hit in ERA just via regression but assuming his season does not turn out akin to an out-of-whack 2019, a low-3’s ERA should be in the cards.
This addition will bolster a pitching rotation that did not lose any pieces after a World Series year. Trevor Bauer will slide into the top-three with Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler as the anchors of this staff. Clayton Kershaw, the dependable 32-year-old who posted an impressive 2.16 ERA himself last season will remain the “ace" but that is due to longevity. All three SPs are aces in their own right and should lead the charge come next postseason. The old saying holds true, the rich get richer, and the Dodgers certainly improved an already stellar rotation with this signing.
Dodgers MLB Future Betting Odds
While these odds could waver due to the breaking news of Bauer’s signing, they are likely to just favor Los Angeles even heavier. There has not been a repeat World Series Champion since the 1998-2000 Yankees. Baseball remains the highest variance playoff for any of the major American sports but this Dodgers team presents as good of a shot at repeating as any. They have won the pennant in three of the past four years and lost in seven games to an Astros team that was blatantly cheating throughout their *championship* season.
With superstars across the starting rotation, fortifications to the bullpen, a fully healthy offense outside of Cody Bellinger (recovering from shoulder surgery), and top-100 prospects ready to contribute in Gavin Lux and Josiah Gray, the Los Angeles Dodgers are deservedly the “best" bet for the 2021 World Series.
It’s even fair to say that this line may even be too high but it is best to wait for the team to hit a midseason skid or a breakout performance from another potent team before betting. It is possible similar odds could be available just before the postseason if the team opts to rotate their starters coming off of a pandemic-shortened season.
Nick Pedone contributed to this report.
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