Andrew Friedman, Dodgers Finally Make Trevor Bauer Signing Official

(USA TODAY Sports photo)

After a winter of wondering where the best free-agent pitcher in baseball would sign, Trevor Bauer announced on Friday, Feb. 5 that he had chosen the Los Angeles Dodgers. On Thursday, the Dodgers and Bauer made it official with a press conference welcoming the righty starter to Los Angeles.

Bauer signed a three-year contract with Los Angeles worth $102 million total guaranteed, along with two possibilities for opt out. The 2020 Cy Young winner will collect $40 million in 2020, $45 million in 2021, and $17 million should he chose to stay with the Dodgers for the second and third years of his contract.

A Southern California native, Bauer attended William S. Hart High School. He was the third overall selection in the 2011 MLB draft by Arizona out of the University of California, Los Angeles. While at UCLA he went 13-2 with a 1.25 ERA, where he won the Golden Spikes Award and National Pitcher of the Year honors. Bauer was the first Bruin to win an MLB Cy Young.

Bauer has played nine season in the majors with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds. Lifetime, he has amassed a 75-64 record with a 3.90 ERA and 1,279 strikeouts.

The Dodgers rotation now boasts three former Cy Young winners, with Bauer joining new teammates Clayton Kershaw and David Price.

To make room for Bauer on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers designated righty pitcher Josh Sborz for assignment.

“To add a player of his caliber to the existing roster that we have was something when the offseason started was very much on our mind, but we weren’t sure how realistic it would be,” Dodgers’ President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman said to open Thursday’s press conference. “We’re here today with the culmination of a lot of work from a lot of people and to be in this position is extremely exciting.”

Added Bauer, “I used to sit in the bleachers right over there as a kid, with Vin Scully on the radio. Been a long time Dodger fan and I couldn’t be more excited to be here.”

Bauer cited the organization itself, the talent, and the organizational structure as the factors that really drew him to wanting to sign with the Dodgers. He also said that he valued a team that would work with him on development, and one that has a great chance at the World Series as things very important to him.

“At the end, everything kinda fit well together,” Bauer said.

Asked whether the Dodgers did their due diligence about Bauer and some concerns that fans may have, Friedman said that they had talked to Bauer multiple times, former coaches, and teammates, and they feel that Bauer will learn from his mistakes. Friedman believes Bauer will be a tremendous addition to both the clubhouse and the community.

Bauer was asked further about past instances when he was harassing or perceived to be harassing women on social media. He mostly brushed aside the questions, stating this was not the forum for those discussions. He reiterated that he would learn from his past mistakes and that he would try to be the best teammate and person he can possibly be.

When asked why such a bold move was warranted with the team the Dodgers already have, Friedman said that they felt good about the existing squad, but by adding Bauer, they now have seven proven big-league starters for the regular season and throughout the playoffs. Durability was a huge factor in the Dodgers signing Bauer, especially with the unknowns coming off a a season that was so different.

Friedman also stated that they look at the payroll over a three to five-year period, not at one specific year at a time.

As far as the San Diego Padres and their moves this offseason, Friedman said, “We’ve definitely noticed what they’ve done, and we’re going to do everything we can to maintain our position.”

Added Bauer, “It wasn’t about the money for me, it was about being a part of something bigger than myself, being a part of an organization that can win. I wanna win a World Series. I’ve come in second both in college and in the big leagues. I’m tired of it. I want to come in first.”

Bauer was asked about his wanting to pitch every fourth day as opposed to the typical five days and said, “Me wanting to pitch every fourth day is not a selfish thing. I feel like I would be a better pitcher doing that. I don’t make those decisions obviously… but just having someone who’s willing to listen to that and have an honest conversation about that… the open mindedness to be willing to have that conversation is important to me.”

Continued Bauer, “It’s a surreal moment for me, and something that I’m very proud of, being able to sit here, you know in the same place I would come two times a year and watch the Dodgers games. It’s pretty surreal for me right now.”

Bauer will wear uniform No. 27.

15 thoughts on “Andrew Friedman, Dodgers Finally Make Trevor Bauer Signing Official

  1. Friedman says they look at payroll in 3-5 year increments. The Dodgers are one of the best if not the best run team in baseball. Roberts said today he expects Turner back this year, hopefully with a 2-year deal. I think they should get more at-bats for Rios. Perhaps with Pedersen and Hernandez now signed elsewhere, he will get more opportunites.

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  2. It seems like everyone expects JT to play for the Dodgers next season, while that sounds great, I wish they would get it signed and done already. 😀

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  3. Marwin Gonzalez signs with the Red Sox, 1 yr, 3 mil. Ken Giles signs with the Mariners. McHugh signing with the Rays. Billy Hamilton closing in on a minor league deal with the Indians. Nomar Mazara to the Tigers. John Jay signs minor league deal with the Angels. And Greg Bird signs with the Rockies.

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  4. I honestly believe the JT saga will be finished before next Tuesday. Players report next week. I figure JT will make up his mind then.

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    1. Looked him up, he is right-handed & 26 years old. His minor league stats are good and he has some power. Reportedly 3rd is his best position. Isn’t that interesting? Dodger bullpen is full so Kolarek was probably not going to make one of the 26 spots. Thomas is in line with Reks, Raley, Peters, etc so probably blocked from advancing. Dodgers get a potential 3rd baseman and another Tj PT project which they are very good at.

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      1. Kolarek is under team control for 4 more years and not arb eligible until next season. But he has an outstanding Ground ball rate. But he is also 32 and I think they have to believe Gonzalez and Alexander can do the job. The also have Cleavenger who is a lefty, but I do not think he has any shot at making the 26. I doubt Neuse is going to make it either. Pads signed Melancon.

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      2. Probably building up the Farm System by trading guys that are blocked. Thomas while impressive in Spring is in a long queue for an MLB outfield position. If they do not sign Turner or trade for a 3rd baseman it is interesting. We have read they are high on Hoese & Vargas. They moved Mann to work out at 3rd off-site last year. Does this deal simply give them more options in the infield in the future or is it a comment on the Turner negotiations. We will all be tuned in to see how this plays out. At least he is right-handed LOL…

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      3. They just traded Floro to the Marlins for 2 pitchers. One is a lefty who made his MLB debut last season. Vesia. He was not impressive. Gave up 3 homers in 4.1 innings. The other guy is a Cali boy who went to USC. I think these are all sideways moves to get more depth. Neuse has impressive AAA stats, but we all know that means bupkis. AF making up for lost time the last couple of days. Bauer, and now these two trades.

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      4. While I agree with you in general. AAA stats are the only way you can judge a prospect besides the Eye Test. Neuse is probably slated for the Farm but his stats are impressive. If a player can make consistent contact then he has a shot. Hitting is incredibly difficult and if you do not have the talent to recognize the pitch, swing, and then actually hit it consistently you are not going to make it. So while stats are just that I would say Neuse might have a shot, To me it’s like Lux. He showed he can hit the ball and was impressive. I would bet he will show he can hit for a very good average this year. We all know the Dodgers are betting he will also. Kendall is a great example they made the mistake of judging he is such an incredible athlete they could teach him to hit. They were wrong. That is why they drafted Vogle he is another plus athlete but has shown he can consistently make contact so he has a shot in the future. You gotta be able to track the ball. Something once I got to college I found I could not do! LOL

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      5. I totally get it. But his strikeout totals are too high to me. He struck out 442 times in 1562 at bats. Close to a 30% K rate. He also does not walk much. I have seen way too many AAAA players. They excel in the minors, but never quite get it once they reach the bigs. I loved Joc, and he had really impressive AAA numbers. But there was always something lacking once he got to the majors. Yeah, he had his moments, and Neuse might do the same. I am just hoping he is not another Tyler White.

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      6. I know you are a very knowledgeable baseball fan. I agree he does strike out more than he should and his walk rate and OBP are low. The Dodger hitting coaches have been able to help some of the guys. Joc did not turn out to be what we had hoped. Some of his most impressive numbers came when he was in Albuquerque and we all know those numbers were inflated. The Dodgers left ABQ I am guessing just to get into a more competitive area and not have stats that were so inflated. It’s one reason I believe the recent players can be judged a bit better as the places they play have better competition and geography. It fascinating to see Friedman’s moves and wonder what he is thinking. Friedman and his team have proven to be very good talent evaluators. They picked up guys like Hernandez, Taylor, Muncy, Gray, and Jeter Downs out of other organizations inexpensively. That is why I wonder if Neuse might be pretty good. Hope so but if not he will help the Farm.

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