Trevor Bauer will be one of the most sought-after free agents this offseason. Several MLB teams would undoubtedly welcome his services. Here are the five best landing spots for the right-hander.
5) Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox had one of the best offenses in the league this season with high batting average and on-base percentages. Their pitching, however, was a different story. Boston finished 28th in ERA. Adding Bauer, who registered a 1.73 ERA this season, would obviously help that problem. Bauer would be a good fit with the Red Sox, but plenty of reasons make the pairing less likely.
It’s unclear whether general manager Chaim Bloom would be willing to shell out big money to Trevor Bauer for a short-term deal. Plus, the majority of Boston’s pitching problems came from the bullpen.
Chris Sale will (hopefully) be fully healthy for 2021, Eduardo Rodriguez will be back, and Tanner Houck will get better. If the Red Sox pick Jack Leiter in the MLB Draft, their starting pitching probably won’t need Bauer. However, given the relative uncertainty of Chris Sale’s health and questions regarding Nathan Eovaldi’s viability as a starter, adding a reliable arm to the rotation might be a good move.
4) Chicago White Sox
The White Sox were the biggest surprise of the 2020 MLB season. After putting together a solid season ending in a playoff appearance, they have the opportunity to go all-in and sign Trevor Bauer.
With numerous contracts coming off the books this offseason, there’s little doubt the White Sox would be able to afford the righty. A rotation of Lucas Giolito, Dallas Kuechel, and Bauer would be among the best in the American League. However, Chicago might not want to tie their entire offseason budget to one player, and there are better fits for Bauer elsewhere.
3) Los Angeles Angels
The Angels need pitching. For years, that has been their major flaw. Dylan Bundy was the best pitcher for the Angels this season. That’s not going to get the job done. Signing Bauer might be the first step to correcting that problem.
Mike Trout has sniffed the playoffs once, and it’s an absolute travesty that the greatest player of our generation never has the opportunity to play postseason baseball. Bauer fits the greatest area of need in LA and would be the number one in the rotation right away. As a former UCLA Bruin, he would be welcomed with open arms.
2) Cincinnati Reds
Trevor Bauer has been actively shopping his services around, but there’s something to be said for staying in Cincinnati. The Reds organization is young and is in a good spot to win with their current pieces. They’ve also proved they can put up with Bauer’s antics on the field and Twitter.
The fans in Cincinnati would appreciate having Bauer for more than one season. Plus, how often have we seen pitchers leave a situation that was great for them and then not pitch as well? (see: Sonny Gray). Sticking it out with the Reds might be the best option for Bauer at this stage in his career. They have the pieces to be good right now, and that isn’t guaranteed everywhere.
1) San Diego Padres
This would be the best situation for everyone involved. San Diego showed everyone this season that they’re ready to win now. They have the offensive firepower to beat anyone in the league, finishing fourth in runs per game.
Improving the pitching by signing Bauer would get the Padres one step closer to challenging the Dodgers in the NL West. Teaming him up with Mike Clevinger and Chris Paddack makes it an even better idea. The Padres already ranked tenth in ERA. Getting Bauer to San Diego seems like a logical step that would turn the Padres into legit contenders.
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