Friday's MLB: NL Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer joins World Series champion Dodgers
Los Angeles — 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 in a two-minute video posted to his Twitter account. Bauer narrated the piece, which ended with him saying, “This season is about making sure history remembers us as we wish to be remembered. This season is about adding to our legacy. And I can’t wait, Dodger fans.”
The video was titled “MY NEW HOME!!!” and the credits said it was written by Bauer, who wore a Dodgers jersey and cap. He tossed a baseball from one hand to the other.
Bauer, who turned 30 last month, was born in North Hollywood, went to high school in Santa Clarita and played baseball at UCLA.
The right-handed free agent also was negotiating with the New York Mets. Bauer’s agent, Rachel Luba, tweeted, “So excited for your next chapter with the @Dodgers, Trevor Bauer.”
For the second straight year, the Dodgers had a mostly quiet offseason before making a blockbuster deal in February. In 2020, they traded for outfielder Mookie Betts and pitcher David Price, who opted out last season because of the pandemic. Price is expected back this year.
Price tweeted his reaction: three flushed face emojis and “WOW!!”
Bauer joins a Dodgers rotation that had a major league-best 3.02 ERA during the abbreviated 60-game season last year, when the franchise won its first championship since 1988.
He gives the club a third Cy Young winner, joining three-time winner Clayton Kershaw and 2012 winner Price. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Dodgers are the first team to have three former Cy Young winners in their rotation since the Detroit Tigers in 2014 had Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Price.
With the upcoming season expanding from 60 games to a full 162-game schedule, the Dodgers can go seven-deep in their rotation, which includes Julio Urias, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin.
Bauer is 75-64 with a 3.90 ERA in nine major league seasons that included a career-best 17-9 with a 4.19 ERA for Cleveland in 2017. He was an All-Star the following year, going 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA.
Bauer was 5-4 in his second season with Cincinnati and his 1.73 ERA was second in the major leagues among qualified pitchers behind only Cleveland’s Shane Bieber at 1.63. Bauer earned $6,481,481 in prorated pay from a $17.5 million salary.
Arizona drafted Bauer with the third overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft. He made his big league debut with the Diamondbacks the following year and went 1-2 in four starts, then was traded to Cleveland in December 2012 with pitchers Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw as part of a three-team trade that brought shortstop Didi Gregorius and pitcher Tony Sipp to Arizona, outfielder Drew Stubbs to Cleveland and outfielder Shin-Soo Choo to Cincinnati.
He was traded to Cincinnati in July 2019 in another three-team deal, one with Cleveland and San Diego that brought pitcher Logan Allen and outfielders Franmil Reyes and Yasiel Puig to the Indians.
Bauer has caused controversy on social media. A female college student claimed to USA Today in 2019 that Bauer harassed her on Twitter, accusing him of retweeting an old tweet of her referring to drinking alcohol before her 21st birthday. USA Today said there were 80 tweets of Bauer that mentioned her and 20 of her that mentioned the pitcher. Bauer tweeted the woman “was obsessed with me.”
He took after baseball owners for the sport’s economics last May during bargaining to start the pandemic-delayed season.
“There’s so many ways to hide the money,” he said, adding owners could reduce ticket prices and at the same time charge more for parking garages they control through different entities that do not benefit the club.
“If I’m going to have to trust my salary to Rob Manfred marketing the game to make more money for the game, I am out on that,” Bauer said. “Let me market the game and we’ll all make more money.”
Los Angeles’ other offseason moves include re-signing reliever Blake Treinen to a $17.5 million, two-year contract, and agreeing to a $4.75 million, two-year deal with reliever Tommy Kahnle, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery in August.
Because Bauer turned down an $18.9 million qualifying offer, Los Angeles will forfeit its second-highest pick in the July amateur draft and $500,000 of international signing bonus allocation.
Cincinnati will receive an extra draft pick after competitive balance round B, approximately No. 60, as compensation.
Ozuna returning to Braves
Marcell Ozuna is returning to Atlanta, with or without the designated hitter.
The Braves reclaimed Ozuna’s power bat for the middle of their lineup on Friday night by signing the slugger to a four-year, $65 millioncontract.
The Braves announced the deal for the 2020 National League home run and RBI leader less than two weeks before pitchers and catchers are set to report for spring training. The deal includes a fifth-year club option for $16 million with a $1 million buyout.
The Braves made the major commitment to Ozuna despite having no assurance there will be a DH in the NL in 2021. He flourished in the role in 2020, helping the Braves win the NL East and come within one win of advancing to the World Series. The Braves lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the NL Championship Series after leading the series 3-1.
Ozuna’s value to the team, in the clubhouse and as lineup protection for 2020 NL MVP Freddie Freeman, was crucial to the team’s hopes of winning a fourth straight NL East title and making another run for the World Series.
The deal drew immediate approval from Freeman, who posted on his Twitter account “love this!! Let’s go!”
The 30-year-old Ozuna signed an $18 million, one-year free-agent deal with Atlanta last year, and then put together his best offensive season during the pandemic-shortened campaign. He batted .338 with 18 homers and 56 RBIs, narrowly missing out on a Triple Crown. He started all 60 games, posting a career-best 1.067 OPS and finishing sixth in NL MVP voting.
The New York Mets defeated third baseman and outfielder J.D. Davis, the Baltimore Orioles beat outfielder Anthony Santander and first baseman Ji-Man Choi defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in the first three of 13 scheduled salary arbitration cases this month.
Davis receives a raise from $592,463 to $2.1 million rather than his $2,475,000 request.
The decision by Gil Vernon, Mark Burstein and Jeanne Vonhof was announced three days after they heard the case. Because of the pandemic, hearings are being conducted by Zoom for the first time rather than in person.
Davis, 27, hit .247 with six homers and 19 RBIs during the pandemic-shortened season.
Santander gets a raise from $572,500 to $2.1 million rather than his $2,475,000 request, the same figures exchanged by Davis and the Mets. Santander’s case was heard Wednesday by arbitrators Melinda Gordon, Richard Bloch and Frederic Horowitz.
Santander, 26, hit .261 with 11 homers and 32 RBIs in the pandemic-shortened season. He was eligible for arbitration for the first time.
The 29-year-old Choi receives a raise to $2.45 million instead of the Rays’ $1.85 million offer. Margaret Brogan, Gary Kendellen and Brian Keller heard the case Thursday.
Choi hit .230 with three homers and 16 RBIs last year, then batted .240 (10 for 40) with two homers and four RBIs as the Rays advanced to the World Series and lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He batted .261 with 19 homers and 63 RBIs in 2019.
Choi had a base salary of $850,000 last year and earned $427,148 in prorated pay, including performance bonuses.
Right-hander Jack Flaherty went to a hearing with St. Louis, asking for a raise from $604,500 to $3.9 million. The Cardinals argued for $3 million to arbitrators Howard Edelman and Steven Wolf and Walt De Treux.
Flaherty was 4-3 with a 4.91 ERA in nine starts, striking out 49 and walking 16 in 40⅓ innings. He was eligible for arbitration for the first time.
Still scheduled for hearings are Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes and pitcher Walker Buehler; Tampa Bay reliever Ryan Yarbrough; Houston shortstop Carlos Correa; Chicago Cubs outfielder Ian Happ; Los Angeles Angels pitcher/outfielder Shohei Ohtani; San Francisco second baseman Donovan Solano; and Atlanta pitcher Mike Sorotka and shortstop Dansby Swanson.
Teams won seven of 12 hearings last year, including six of the first seven, and had a winning record for the fourth time in six years.
Around the horn
The Baseball Writers’ Association of America has voted to remove the name of J.G. Taylor Spink, former publisher of The Sporting News, from the award given annually by baseball’s Hall of Fame for meritorious contributions to baseball writing.
The BBWAA said 325 of 334 voters, 97%, had voted to remove the name following research into racism by Spink. The award voted on annually by BBWAA members will now be known as the BBWAA Career Excellence Award.
… Infielder Sergio Alcántara was claimed off waivers by the Cubs from the Tigers.
The 24-year-old debuted with Detroit last season and appeared in 10 games. He hit .143 (3-for-21) with a home run, and saw time at second and third base.
… Kolten Wong and the Brewers finalized their $18 million, two-year contract, a deal that includes a 2022 club option.