After a relatively quiet start to the offseason, the Los Angeles Dodgers sent shockwaves through Major League Baseball by agreeing to terms with top free-agent starting pitcher Trevor Bauer on a three-year, $102 million contract.
The right-hander’s record-setting deal contains opt outs after each of the first two years, and his $40 million salary this season will make him the highest paid player in MLB history. Bauer is then on track to set the bar with a $45 million earnings in 2022.
Bauer had narrowed his focus to the Dodgers and New York Mets before choosing to sign with his hometown team. The Mets, long considered the favorite to sign him, reportedly had the most lucrative offer on the table.
Bauer snubbing New York wasn’t just surprising to the baseball world, but also the Mets themselves. It came to a point in the negotiations where the organization felt they had reached an agreement with the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post:
There was a time in the final 24 hours of the negotiation in which the Mets believed they had reached agreement with Trevor Bauer, three sources told The Post. They felt terms had been approved by both sides and that they were working with one of his agents, Jon Fetterolf, toward finalizing details.
A source said that Mets president Sandy Alderson, who has been involved with three organizations over the past four decades, felt he had never proceeded to this extent of negotiations and not finalized the deal.
The Mets reportedly offered Bauer a three-year contract worth $105 million, with opt outs after each of the first two seasons. However, he would have earned just $80 million over his first two seasons in comparison to the $85 million he can make with the Dodgers.
The Mets’ loss is the Dodgers’ gain as L.A. now boasts arguably the best starting rotation in all of baseball. Bauer joins a rotation that is set to include fellow Cy Young Award winners Clayton Kershaw and David Price, as well as rising stars Walker Buehler and Julio Urias.
Bauer donating to New York non-profit organizations
Prior to announcing he will sign with the Dodgers, Bauer’s website temporarily featured images of autographed Mets hats, prompting fans to believe he was headed to the Big Apple.
Bauer apologized for this mishap and committed to make multiple donations to non-profit organizations in New York.
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