Trevor Bauer and his agent Rachel Luba played the Mets fans all along this offseason about playing in New York and wanting the stage.
When Bauer decided to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers on his YouTube channel last Friday, Mets fans expressed their anger towards Luba and her client on Twitter.
I never got the impression he ever wanted to pitch in New York. For one thing, he is a Southern California guy. His laidback nature would not work out well in a passionate sports town like New York. Second of all, there was no way he wanted to be scrutinized by fans and the local media, especially with him being a headcase.
He tweeted on Wednesday about Dodgers fans should respect his personal space when he is at home or a hotel. Imagine him dealing with that in New York. Finally, he wanted to ride on the coattails of Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler on a loaded team rather than being a difference-maker for the Mets.
Mets owner Steve Cohen and Mets president Sandy Alderson won’t publicly admit this, but they are happy they don’t have to pay him $40 million in 2021 and $45 million in 2022 during his three-year, $102 million deal. He is not worth that money.
It’s a joke he is the highest-paid player in baseball for the next two seasons. Only players of the ilk of Mookie Betts and Mike Trout earned that pay.
It’s surprising the Dodgers decided to go that route. Dodgers general manager Andrew Friedman has been so disciplined in not breaking the bank in free agency. I figured Bauer would sign a lucrative deal with the Dodgers, but not for that money he received. The NL Cy Young Award winner experienced his breakthrough season this past season despite making only 11 starts. Sorry, he was not worth that money based on his mediocre career. It would not be very smart for any team to pay that type of money to a starter.
We will never know if the Mets offered him that type of money. My guess is Cohen and Alderson would have been disciplined enough not to sign him for that type of money. They did not go overboard to sign George Springer, who signed with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Imagine if Bauer got hurt, and the Mets would be stuck to pay the bill. The Mets experienced bad luck with injuries in recent years, so this is the last thing they would want in the likelihood that he got hurt. Plus, they went through this once with Johan Santana. They acquired him and signed him to a long-term deal with the idea he would win Cy Young awards and lead the Mets to playoff appearances and even a championship. Instead, the two-time Cy Young Award winner had his career cut short with injuries.
Bauer should do fine with the Dodgers as the third starter on the team. This makes all of this amusing the Dodgers pay him that type of money to be a No. 3 starter, which he probably is anyway. They can get someone better by making a trade with less the cost Bauer received from the Dodgers. But it wouldn’t work here for him. He is not mature to handle success or deal with everything that comes with playing in New York. He can be a ticking time bomb any day. Maybe he’s not as crazy as Kyrie Irving, but he displayed erratic behavior to give the Mets a pause.
Who can remember him throwing a baseball at center field after a bad inning at Kansas City?
He also managed to injure himself by fixing a drone during the 2016 playoffs, which cost the Indians a chance to win the World Series.
Alderson experienced a headcase like that in the name of Matt Harvey. Yes, Harvey pitched well, but he was immature to handle his success even before his thoracic outlet surgery. I doubt he wanted to experience that again with Bauer.
It’s fair to wonder if Bauer is more into his brand than about winning. He never struck as a starter who will do anything to win a baseball game because if he did, he wouldn’t have risk injuring himself by fixing a drone during the postseason. This would not cut it in New York. In Los Angeles, it would be okay since the media is not that tough, and Dodgers fans are not as passionate as Mets fans that they can look the other way.
The Mets can win without Bauer. No, they won’t win the NL East, and it’s doubtful they are going to the World Series, but they can be a playoff team. Even if the Mets signed him, are they really that much better than the Braves or Dodgers?
Bauer may shine with the Dodgers, but he will do it with no pressure on him.
If he truly wanted to pitch in New York and show he can handle the pressure of pitching in New York, he would have teamed up with Gerrit Cole to form a top 1-2 duo punch with the Yankees.
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