Indians brought up Trevor Bauer’s social media use in arbitration hearing
Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer won his arbitration case against the team this week for the second consecutive year, but the hearing apparently got a lot more personal this time around.
In an interview with Bob Nightengale of USA Today on Thursday, Bauer accused the Indians of “character assassination” in the hearing that ended up with him getting a $13 million contract for the 2019 season. Cleveland had proposed a salary of $11 million.
“They spent the last 10 minutes of the case trying a character-assassination,” Bauer said. “I learned that giving to charity is a bad thing. I learned that agreeing with someone on a podcast just for the sake of argument that I was worth $10.5 million, and should be the definitive answer why I’m not worth $13 [million].”
Bauer said the Indians basically argued that he is a “terrible human being,” criticizing him for his charitable campaign last spring just because of its name, which was the “69 Days of Giving.” While the right-hander didn’t mention it, ESPN’s Buster Olney said Bauer’s use of social media was also called into question by the people arguing in favor of the Indians.
In Trevor Bauer's arbitration hearing, his use of social media was raised by those arguing the case for the Indians.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 14, 2019
Obviously, arbitration hearings are business matters. Bauer wants as much money as he’s entitled to, and the Indians want to save wherever they can. Still, it seems obvious that Cleveland’s tactics rubbed Bauer the wrong way.
“You never know how the character assassination plays, and considering that’s what ended it,” he said. “It kind of put a black mark on what I thought was a really argued case on both sides. There’s not room for that. Let’s just stick to the numbers. Let the numbers tell the story.
“You don’t need to bring character assassination into it, especially for charitable campaigns.”
Bauer has a reputation for expressing himself freely on social media, and the Indians must not like that. He’s arbitration eligible for one more year in 2020, so it will be interesting to see if the reputation between the two sides has been damaged.