FKILE – Cincinnati Reds’ Trevor Bauer reacts after recording a strikeout against Milwaukee Brewers’ Christian Yelich during a baseball game in Cincinnati, in this Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, file photo. The Reds won 6-1. Trevor Bauer is coming home to pitch for the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner announced his decision on Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in a two-minute video posted to his Twitter account.(AP Photo/Aaron Doster, File)
- World Series-champion Los Angeles Dodgers sign Trevor Bauer to a reported three-year deal
- Left-hander is the reigning Cy Young winner after posting a league-best 1.73 ERA with the Reds
- Read on for analysis, full odds and whether the Dodgers are a good bet to win another championship at +350
In the clearest indication that the rich keep getting richer in Major League Baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers scooped up the top free-agent arm on the market with Friday’s addition of Trevor Bauer.
The left-hander, who won the National League Cy Young last year with the Cincinnati Reds, has reportedly signed a three-year deal with the reigning world champions, and will receive a massive $85-million over the first two years of the contract.
With the addition of Bauer, the Dodgers have seen their 2021 World Series odds drop to +350, ahead of both the New York Yankees and San Diego Padres.
2021 World Series Odds
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+350|
|New York Yankees||+550|
|San Diego Padres||+800|
|Chicago White Sox||+850|
|New York Mets||+1000|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+2200|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+2400|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+2500|
Odds taken Feb. 5
Rotation For The Ages
Bauer’s addition means Los Angeles will start the 2021 season with a rotation featuring Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Julio Urias and David Price.
One word to describe this rotation… GO! pic.twitter.com/AsmJEXVzWe
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) February 5, 2021
The addition also means the Dodgers are just the second reigning world champions following the 1998 Yankees to add a Cy Young winner during the winter. The Yankees added Roger Clemens, which worked out rather well as the Bronx Bombers won the next two World Series to wrap up a three-peat.
Reigning World Series champions to add a reigning Cy Young Award winner that offseason:
2021 Dodgers, Trevor Bauer (’20 NL)
1999 Yankees, Roger Clemens (’98 AL)
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) February 5, 2021
The fact that Bauer was available is something of rarity, with the lefty the first reigning Cy Young winner to hit free agency since Greg Maddux in 1992.
The Power Of Bauer
Bauer’s 2020 season was easily the best of his career. He posted a league-best 1.73 ERA with a 0.795 WHIP, while he had a career-high 12.3 K/9 and 5.88 K/BB, in going 5-4 with 11 starts for the Reds.
THREE CY YOUNGS IN ONE ROTATION!!!
Do you think the addition of Trevor Bauer makes the Dodgers a lock to repeat in 2021? pic.twitter.com/zWoe5xcxwS
— Intentional Talk (@IntentionalTalk) February 5, 2021
However, while that line was good enough to earn the 30-year-old his first Cy Young in the pandemic-shortened 60-game season, it may have been something of an outlier. Only once before has the Southern California native come close to matching it over a full season, and it must also be noted that eight of his 11 starts game against sub-.500 teams.
A Good Fit?
With a team ERA of 3.02 and a WHIP of 1.056, the Dodgers led the majors last season, well ahead of second-placed Cleveland’s marks of 3.29 and 1.114. Bauer’s insertion into the rotation should do little to detract from the team’s regular-season success, particularly for a team that offered their pitchers the most run supports, with an average of 5.82 runs per game.
The World Series champions will be counting on Bauer to pitch deep into October alongside the likes of Kershaw and Buehler. While the lefty has a lot of postseason experience, going to the Fall Classic in 2016 while with Cleveland, his record is a less-that-stellar 1-4, with a 2.94 ERA.
Dodgers’ Win Zero-Sum Game
However Bauer pitchers for the Dodgers, one of the important points of the signing is that it keeps him away from one of the other contenders, particularly the New York Mets, who thought they were in pole position to sign him right up until the Dodgers got his ink on a contract.
Trevor Bauer’s reported salary in 2021 ($40 million, per @Feinsand) is larger than the current 2021 payrolls of the Indians, Pirates and Orioles, according to Spotrac.
— Kyle Glaser (@KyleAGlaser) February 5, 2021
Winning the race for Bauer’s signature will be a psychological victory for the Dodgers, who will view the Mets, under new ownership, as one of the principal obstacles in their quest for another pennant, alongside the likes of San Diego and Atlanta.
It should also provide the impetus for the Dodgers to separate themselves from a crowded NL pack and find their way back to the World Series once again.
Pick: Dodgers to win 2021 World Series (+350)
For the last 20 years, Paul Attfield has worked in sports media. Starting out in his native Britain with the likes of The Independent, he eventually switched continents, with his work appearing in the likes of the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and Yahoo Sports since.