It was down to the Mets and Dodgers but 2020’s National Cy Young winner, Trevor Bauer, chose the reigning and defending world champions over the Mets, as Bauer became baseball’s highest paid player off a $102 million dollar deal for just three years. The deal will give Bauer about $42.5 million in compensation in 2021 and 2022 which is beyond imaginable.
Of course, many have questioned how good Bauer really is. They’ve questioned if he’s deserving of his contract after one good half of a season. He’s been compared to pitchers like Carlos Carrasco where people believe they’ve had the same stat line and are worth the same.
Bauer is 75-64 in nine MLB seasons. He has a 3.90 ERA and averages nearly 10 strikeouts per nine innings along with 3.4 walks. He’s had his moments on the diamond between the good and the bad but he’s starting to perfect his craft.
Bauer’s win-loss record could be greater if he had an offense behind him. Last year’s Cincinnati Reds team wasn’t capable of getting Bauer a lot of runs. This Dodgers team is very capable of it which should help Bauer relax, get in a groove and pitch a high level.
In his Cy Young season, Bauer went 5-4 with a 1.73 ERA in 11 games. He threw two complete game shutouts and had a WHIP below .8. He also struck out a career best 12.3 batters per nine innings and walked a career low 2.1 batters per nine innings. Again, who knows what his stat line would be in a full season. It’s anyone’s guess, but he will help the Dodgers be very popular amongst MLB picks this upcoming season.
Preparing for a Repeat
The Dodgers won the World Series and were already a top choice on MLB Futures to repeat next season. The team didn’t really need anyone or anything extra to make another run at a second title. But with the way the San Diego Padres were making moves, it was clear that the Dodgers had to make a special move to counter the Padres and their off-season.
Signing Bauer likely gives the Dodgers the best pitching staff in baseball. They’re going to pitch Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, David Price, Julio Urias and David Price (or Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin) every single game. That’s a ridiculous rotation and it’s much deeper than just those seven guys.
Having major league pitching depth is going to be especially crucial knowing that this season will still have seven-inning doubleheaders and modified extra innings rules with the runner starting at second base. All seven of these starters will be used with these rules in place.
On top of that, when it’s playoff time, they’ll have a lot of playoff experience in the bullpen of guys who can flat out pitch and pitch for an extended amount of time. The Dodgers just re-signed Justin Turner who has become one of baseball’s premier third baseman’s. Bringing Turner back will help the lineup hit his full potential.
Cake Walk for the NL West?
In reality, there aren’t going to be many teams that can take down the Dodgers. This is a team that’s coming off a World Series after bringing in Mookie Betts last season. Now they’ve brought in Trevor Bauer.
San Diego will have a fighting chance in the division. The Padres went crazy during the off-season and brought in Yu Darvish, Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove. San Diego also went and signed Ha-seong Kim and re-signed Jurickson Profar.
The offense was never the problem but pitching became a bit weak late into the season. Darvish and Snell are two real aces and will now be paired with other premier aces like Dinelson Lamet. The Padres are a real threat if the starting rotation gets hot throughout the season and in the playoffs.
New Foes Out East
On the other hand, the New York Mets shouldn’t be an afterthought. The Mets, to this point, claim they’re not done making moves a couple weeks before Spring Training. The Mets traded for Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco and also signed James McCann as catcher. Many people have forgotten that Marcus Stroman has returned to the Mets and Noah Syndergaard will be back by the middle of the season.
The Mets might not have a better rotation than the Dodgers or Padres but with Jacob deGrom at the top of the rotation and rookie left-hander David Peterson at the bottom of the rotation, the Mets are sneaky with their pitching. The Mets could be looking at another third baseman like Kris Bryant or Matt Chapman before the season starts. For the Mets, it’s a wait and see approach but the offense should have plenty of success behind breakout stars like Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo to name a few.
Another team can jump in and surprise. Maybe it’ll be the Cardinals. Baseball is a long season and we’ve seen that anything can happen in the MLB, especially in a longer season. The Dodgers are the best team in the National League on paper. We’ll see if it plays out like that this season, but if you trust the Dodgers you can take them at +350 to repeat as champions at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review).