Well, the Dodgers certainly waited long into the offseason period to make a big splash, as arguably the biggest free agent on the market is headed home to Los Angeles.
The deal with the 30-year-old righty is for three years and $102 million guaranteed, and it also includes possible opts out after the first and second season. Bauer’s is set for $40 million in 2021 and $45 million in 2022. The contract also makes him the high paid pitcher in terms of AAV.
The Dodgers are also now $35 million over the estimated luxury tax threshold, the only team in the majors that bears that distinction. A few trades by Andrew Friedman could change that, but as of now, it looks like the team will be paying quite a bit extra back to the league .
The long wait for baseball ended on Friday after Jon Heyman, among others, broke the news. There had been much speculation throughout the day that Bauer would make a decision on Friday, as it had been reported to come down between the Mets and the Dodgers.
The Dodgers rotation, which was loaded before the deal, now features three former Cy Young Winners in Bauer, Clayton Kershaw, and David Price, and not to forget Walker Buehler, Julio Urias, with Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin in reserve. The rotation certainly stands as the best in the majors.
Bauer announced the signing on his YouTube channel, detailing why he chose to sign with the Dodgers, as he grew up a fan of the Boys in Blue.
After a flurry of moves from the San Diego Padres, the National League West will have two of the best rotations in the majors.
The Mets fell short after a hard pursuit of Bauer. Yesterday, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports had reported New York had a deal with Bauer, but obviously that was proven to be a false report. The Mets offered higher overall dollars, but Bauer opted to go with $85 million in the first two years.
Bauer had the best season of his career in 2020 when he posted a 1.73 ERA in 73 innings and 100 strikeouts. His career ERA stands at 3.90 with 1279 strikeouts, and his career WHIP is 1.26
Already, there have been mixed reactions on Bauer from Dodger fans. However, many of his assets are among the best in baseball, despite his eccentric personality and his affinity for social media. Only time will tell what happens in the Bauer era for the Dodgers, but certainly both sides should be excited about the potential success moving forward.