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Cincinnati Reds free agent starting pitcher Trevor Bauer had until Nov. 11 to accept or reject the club’s qualifying offer and remain a part of the organization. Bauer decided he didn’t need that extra time and rejected the offer today.

“Trevor Bauer has rejected the QO but not the Reds, and he looks forward to speaking with them and all other interested teams through free agency,”

Bauer’s agent tweeted

Cincinnati tendered the $18.9 million qualifying offer to Bauer, and he had ten days to accept it or reject it. The qualifying offer, established in 2012, is tied to MLB Draft pick compensation and is rarely accepted by players.

Suppose Bauer signs with another club for $50 million or more. In that case, the Reds will receive a compensation pick before Competitive Balance Round A. If he signs somewhere else for less than $50 million, the club will get a selection after Compensation Round B.

Bauer’s numbers in 2020 were otherworldly. Trevor Bauer, 29, was 5-4 with an NL-best 1.73 ERA, 276 ERA+, and 100 strikeouts in 11 starts and a National League-leading 73 innings during the shortened 2020 season. In Game 1 of the NL Wild Card Series, which resulted in a no-decision and 1-0 Reds loss to Atlanta in 13 innings, the right-hander pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts.

Additionally, Bauer’s metrics were mostly great, suggesting that he’s built to dominate for years to come. Trevor Bauer will be one of the most sought-after free agents this offseason. Several MLB teams would undoubtedly welcome his services. 

But it’s still scary to look at the seven years of Bauer’s career, with two being dominant and five where his ERA was above 4.00. Bauer will turn 30 years old in January and has many innings on his arm, having tossed 1,190 in the majors since debuting in 2012.

Bauer is a finalist for the NL CY Young award as determined by the Baseball Writers Association of America, with the winner scheduled to be revealed on Nov. 11.