Major League Baseball is serious about cracking down on pitchers using foreign substances, and is investigating one high-profile ace for possibly doing just that.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, MLB has collected “multiple” baseballs thrown by Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer during Wednesday’s start against the Oakland Athletics. A source said the baseballs had “visible markings and were sticky.”
It’s not clear what the league could do even if it does determine that some sort of foreign substance was used on the baseballs. Commissioner Rob Manfred could seek to fine or suspend Bauer, but it would be difficult to prove that Bauer was the one who applied the substances to the baseball. Without that strong evidence, any punishment seems unlikely to stand on appeal.
In late March, MLB sent a memo to all 30 clubs informing them that the league would be using Statcast data on spin rates to analyze whether pitchers’ spin rates significantly differed from their career norms. A source said that was not involved in the Bauer baseballs getting flagged, adding that the balls were simply brought to the attention of umpires.
Trevor Bauer is already showing the Los Angeles Dodgers what things can be like when he gets eccentric, especially in spring training.
Bauer started Saturday’s spring training game against the San Diego Padres, and decided to do something a bit different during his first inning of work. He threw the entire inning while keeping one eye closed.
Bauer seemed to take some time to adjust, as he gave up a single and a walk to start the inning, then unleashed a wild pitch to move both runners up. He followed with an infield popup and back-to-back strikeouts, however, ensuring a scoreless frame. He made clear on the inning-ending strikeout what he had been doing, too.
Believe it or not, Bauer did have a more legitimate reason for pitching the way he did. He said putting himself in uncomfortable circumstances helps him improve, as he has to figure out how to cope with whatever the issue is.
#Dodgers Trevor Bauer said he pitched 1st inning today with one eye closed. “I like making myself uncomfortable and throwing different stuff my way and trying to find a solution for it. I think that's how you improve.”
There are certainly worse reasons to try something like that. As long as he can do it without losing control of his pitches and endangering batters, it’s hard to see a downside. He’s done stuff like this before in spring training games and it hasn’t seemed to hurt him.
The New York Mets were spurned at the last minute by Trevor Bauer, who instead opted to join the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now that that’s over, the Mets are wondering if that will turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
Mets GM Sandy Alderson confessed the team may have been naive to think it could have managed Bauer’s social media activity and said he might be even happier with where the team’s roster ended up after Bauer rejected them.
“We thought we could manage it. And maybe that was naive. We’ll see,” Alderson said of Bauer’s social media activity, via Ronald Blum of the Associated Press. “But look, we’re very happy with the roster we have, and I’m not here to say, wow, we dodged a bullet. I’m here to say we made an effort. We thought he would help our team. We understood what the risks were associated with some of the social media stuff. We actually had discussions internally with group or groups in our organization to talk about that, including women.
“And so I was happy with where we ended up, and he made a choice. And now maybe I’m even happier with where we ended up, given the fact that we were able to add someone like Taijuan Walker and others.”
Things could get pretty intense between the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers this season if Friday night’s Twitter activity is any indication.
Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard took a shot at Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer over Bauer’s handling of free agency. Bauer was courted by both the Dodgers and Mets, and made no secret of either, culminating in Bauer’s official website briefly offering signed Mets caps by accident before his decision had been announced. The Mets themselves even reportedly thought they had a deal with Bauer, but he ultimately decided to join the Dodgers. The whole situation was chaotic enough that Bauer issued an apology to Mets fans and pledged to donate to several New York-based charities.
Syndergaard clearly didn’t think much of the whole episode, because he took a clear shot at Bauer on Twitter Friday evening.
Bauer, not one to shy away from controversy, took note and responded to Syndergaard, offering a sharp response to the Mets pitcher and criticizing some of his previous interactions with fans.
When mistakes are made, you try to make them right. I know you wouldn’t know anything about making mistakes though. Hope rehab is treating you well. Was good to see you back throwing. https://t.co/MI0Clq567u
Bauer isn’t shy about getting himself into Twitter feuds, but it’s more interesting when he’s doing it with a fellow big leaguer. It gets even more interesting when you consider that the Dodgers and Mets are considered among the leading contenders in the National League for 2021. This could add some spice to any potential matchup down the road.
The Los Angeles Dodgers signed the biggest free agent pitcher on the market and have a message for anyone doubting their move.
The Dodgers last week signed Trevor Bauer to a 3-year deal worth up to $102 million. The signing was made official on Thursday, and Bauer was introduced at a media conference.
During the news conference, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman responded to a question about his message to those disappointed with the move. He told them to trust the team.
Andrew Friedman on what he would say to fans who are disappointed the Dodgers signed Trevor Bauer: "Hopefully over the last six-plus years, some trust and credibility has been built up in terms of the research that we do on players and the vetting process that we go through."
Quite frankly, I’m curious to know what Dodgers fans were disappointed about. Bauer was the top free agent pitcher. He won the NL Cy Young Award in the brief season.
Perhaps Bauer’s 75-64 record and career 3.90 ERA do not scream “$40 million a year pitcher.” But anyone who has been paying attention knows how ace-like Bauer has been the past three seasons. He has said that his poor numbers after his 2019 trade to Cincinnati were due to an injury.
The Los Angeles Dodgers ultimately beat out the New York Mets in the Trevor Bauer sweepstakes. At one point, however, it was apparently the Mets who thought they had finished the job and landed the reigning NL Cy Young winner.
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mets believed they had reached an agreement with Bauer before the Dodgers swooped in and closed the deal. The organization felt that both sides had approved the terms of the deal and were working with one of Bauer’s agents to settle what they felt were the final details of the contract.
Furthermore, a source told Sherman that Mets president Sandy Alderson felt he had never reached the point of negotiations he did with Bauer without closing a deal.
Even as the Mets felt they were closing the deal, the Dodgers sensed opportunity. They felt that they were close to matching the Mets’ three-year, $105 million offer, and also got the sense that Bauer would rather play in Los Angeles than New York. That helped push the Dodgers toward moving in at the last minute and sealing the deal, leaving the Mets empty-handed.
Most of the rumors in the day or two before Bauer signed linked him to the Mets, not the Dodgers. This makes it even clearer that the Mets thought they had Bauer, and are genuinely surprised to have lost out at the last moment.
Trevor Bauer announced on Friday that he has signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and it sounds like he turned down a more lucrative offer from another team.
Bauer’s deal with the Dodgers is worth $102 million over three years. His salary will be $40 million in 2021 and $45 million in 2022 but drop to $17 million in 2023. The contract gives Bauer the ability to opt out after Year 1 or Year 2, so it will in all likelihood end up being a two-year, $85 million deal.
Bauer grew up in Santa Clarita, Calif., so he ultimately chose his hometown team. New Mets owner Steve Cohen has made it clear that he is willing to spend big this offseason, so he almost certainly would have outbid the Dodgers if Bauer gave him the option.
The contract is for three years and $102 million. Bauer has the ability to opt out after either of the first two seasons. If he does not play all three years, the deal will be by far the richest in MLB history in terms of average annual salary. Here are the details:
In the end, Bauer doesn't break Gerrit Cole's AAV for the entire contract. But if he opts out after either of the first two years, his AAV will be far higher than Cole's $36M. One year/$40M or two years/$85M ($42.5M AAV). If he stays all three, it's three years/$102M ($34M AAV).
The New York Mets’ big offseason could get even bigger in the near future.
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Mets are engaged in talks with free agent pitcher Trevor Bauer, and expect to receive a firm answer within the next 24 hours. The team is said to be seriously hopeful of landing the star pitcher.
Mets are engaged with Trevor Bauer. They expect to hear something — one way or another — in the next 24 hours or so. Situation is fluid but there’s hope. @ByRobertMurray tweeted that the sides are talking.
The Mets promised to be big players in free agency under new owner Steve Cohen, and the organization has followed through on that. In an offseason where teams across the league have been reluctant to spend big, the Mets have spent significant money on James McCann and Trevor May and clearly aren’t done yet.
There has been lots of movement on the MLB Hot Stove this week, but Trevor Bauer has yet to choose a team. There is no indication when that might happen, but there is some talk about who will be involved in his bidding.
MLB reporter Jon Heyman tweeted Thursday that the race for Bauer could come down to the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers, unless a mystery team emerges.
Bauer derby could shape up as Mets vs. Dodgers unless mystery teams emerge (always possible). Padres showed interest before their 3 pitching deals but also floated 3/4 year deal, which didn’t fly. @martinonyc had 1st Mets offer estimates
The Dodgers are not believed to be interested in a long-term deal for a pitcher and would prefer a shorter-term deal. The Mets would probably have the edge if they were willing to go longer for the 30-year-old ace.
So far, the Mets’ offer for Bauer reportedly is for four years or less, and lower than an annual average of $36 million.
On Mets Hot Stove, @martinonyc says the #Mets offer to Trevor Bauer is for 4 years or less, at less than the $36M AAV he is reportedly seeking and includes opt out(s)