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Dodgers Writer Sees One Way LA Could Add Trevor Bauer

The one scenario that works for both the Dodgers and for Bauer.



It’s not every day that a team gets the chance to add a Cy Young winner to their rotation the year after winning a World Series. But that is exactly where the Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves just a few months after taking home a title. 

Bauer has been linked to the Dodgers, among virtually every other team looking to compete in 2020. The biggest difference for Los Angeles is that they don’t NEED Bauer in their rotation. Adding him in at this point would just be a luxury.

Jorge Castillo of The LA Times recently wrote about the possibility of Bauer coming to LA and what would need to happen to get him here. For Castillo, the Dodgers would likely only go after Bauer if he were willing to take a short-term deal. 

The approach would be similar to when they pursued Bryce Harper two winters ago. Harper wanted to commit to a franchise for the rest of his career. The Dodgers instead offered him a four-year deal worth at least $40 million per season. He chose to sign a 13-year, $330-million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.-Jorge Castillo

As it stands, the Dodgers are slated to have anywhere from 6 to 8 guys competing for the starting rotation in 2021. Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, and Dustin May are really the only locks heading into the new year. David Price still has not made it clear if he will play, and everyone else will be fighting for a spot. 

Bauer has insisted in years past that he will not take anything more than a 1-year deal, but that was also during arbitration years. If the Dodgers could put together a 2-3 year offer for him, it would probably have to be a pretty ridiculous value to get him on board. 

Outlook for the Dodgers

Do the Dodgers need him to pitch for them in 2021? Absolutely not. Personally, I don’t think he’s worth the money that he will command. But if they want him, it seems like it’s entirely possible for the Dodgers to sign the former UCLA product. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. The Dodgers do not need Bauer. The Dodgers have an overabundance of starter rotation pitchers. The addition would block a young talent from performing.
    The Dodgers need to do what Friedman has talked about. Add talent in the bullpen and a right-handed bat.
    Hopefully, they can get Turner to sign a 2-year deal. If not it would be difficult to justify as there are several Farm Players coming up he would be blocking.
    The Dodger’s continued success is based on using the talent from the Farm team to replenish the MLB club via trade assets and players.
    Jansen, Kelly, and Kershaw’s contracts end next year. The Dodgers will have a better idea of their finances at that time as they will need to sign or extend Seager, Bellinger, and Buehler by then.
    I think there will be a strike as the labor agreement ends Dec. 31, 2021.

  2. I do disagree. The Dodgers do need Trevor Bauer:
    1. The Dodgers only had two good World Series quality starters for the playoffs this year. You need three. Kershaw and Price are OK we hope but seem to be on the downside and past their prime years.

    2.Injuries. How many of the past few years did the Dodgers need to rely on their starting pitcher depth going to their 6,7, and 8th best starter. Answer: each and every year.

    3. The Dodgers excellence over the past 70 years has been based on not just good pitching but sublimely excellent pitching: Kaufax, Drysdsle, Sutton, Valenzuela, Newcomb, Padres, Hersheiser, Kershaw, and more. The Dodgers should maintain that as a hallmark.

    Bauer is a free agent so he doesn’t require the Dodgers to give up prospects and he probably does not want a very long term deal. So go get him!

    • I agree especially for a full 162 game season we won’t be able to ride 2 starters. Can’t play it like 2020 and expect the same result. We need guys going 6-7 most nights so the bullpen isn’t completely gassed by October and that includes May and Gonsolin. I believe the reason the bullpen was able to cover so many innings during their starts this past postseason is because of the short season

    • IDK. Can you name 2 teams with a better #3 than Urias? Anyone with a better #4 than Price? Anyone with a better #6 than Gonsolin? And we’re not even talking about Victor Gonzalez or Josiah Gray that are ready to contribute as starters.

      • For the playoffs Urias might well be in the bullpen. I think also Gonzales is a reliever. I’m not going to bet now that Gray is a game three starter this year or next. Gonsolin pitched badly in the playoffs every start he made. Pirice is getting older and sat out a year and could sit out another since the risk might be just the same. Even then the Dodgers could be one injury away.

  3. Sign Justin Turner, get Trevor Bauer and Purchase or Trade for a Big righthanded BAT!

    It would be one of the most successful off seasons in the club history!

    What a Merry Christmas us Dodger Fans will have!

  4. You can make an argument that they don’t “need” anything / anyone. Rios can step into the vacancy at 3rd base and they can stock the pen with all those arms on the 40 man. They lost a couple of bench pieces in Pederson and Kike, but Recks, McKinstry, Lux, Raley, Ruiz and Peters are all on the 40 man and are looking for ABs. The 40 man sits at 37 right now and an extra spot will open up once Ferguson lands on the 60 day IL. So there’s 4 open spots with non-roster Morrow and Nelson with eyes on those. With just 2 more spots open, Omar Estevez and Josia Gray can easily step right into.

    The best way to build a champion is to add elite players when you can. Bauer had an elite year last year, so you improve the team by doing so. Is it the best use of resources? I’ll let Andrew figure that one out, but it seems to me that they need a RH bat and a leverage reliever, as noted by AF and Doc in recent interviews. If money is no object, like it was when they made the Nick Punto trade, then they should sign that bat, that closer, and Bauer to absolutely crush the competition.

    • great post and i agree with all of it. the friedman method is to blend in prospects with all stars and bring in players like turner, taylor and muncy who have re-invented their game. amazing how dodger prospects like seager, buehler, bellinger, smith, urias, have grown into all stars. that’s the product of a great organization.

      i’d say the top priority is a high leverage closer worthy of playing for a ring. one would certainly hope that lux grows into the majors like he did in the minors. however, i’d first let him do kiki’s job and look for a blockbuster free agent right handed infielder like lemahieu. same situation letting with ruiz take over at third. not worth the gamble and we get turner back for two more years while the pups play utility. the starting pitching is deep and the staff overall is the best in the majors. stand pat there except for replacing jansen.

  5. I don’t see the Dodgers owners willing to go past the CBT threshold ($210M) in 2021and after losing $100M (according to Stan Kasten) in 2020. They are already at $191M without signing Turner, Hernandez, Pederson, etc. replacements. Only way Dodgers can sign Bauer and stay below the CBT is to trade Jansen, or Pollock and Joe Kelly — or David Price for non roster prospects. Not going to happen.

  6. SOCALBUM , YOU GOT RIGHT, TRADE JANSE AND POLLOCK AND KELLY SIGN BAUER, 3 NOT SO GOOD FOF 1 GOOD ONE . LET IT HAPPEN ANDREW

  7. Winning a cy young on your free agent walk year is a dream come true, and happens once in a lifetime. Bauer is a little weird, but he ain’t taking a 2 year contract, he’ll be cashing in big time.

  8. Sign him now, this team will be a dynasty for years. And ownership knows championships bring in big money. So to hell with the luxury tax and give us what the lakers have givin this city time after time.

    • Yes it’s time for the Dodgers franchise to become what they were supposed to always be and that’s the best NL franchise in history. Winning 4 or more titles in addition to last years will do that

  9. Give bauer a 2year dealsign it to a 3 year deal
    t to school at UCLA. It would make sense send may or gonsolin to the bullpen

  10. If Bauer would really go for a one year deal after winning the Cy, then go for it. Sign him. It won’t block long term contracts for upcoming FAs like Seager. But I think Bauer would be crazy to do a one year deal. When you win the Cy, it’s time to cash in with a mega contract for the rest of your career. Price is a big question mark whether he plays or not. Gonsolin could always shift to the bullpen with occasional starts. But what’s not to like about a 6 man rotation.of the following:

    Kershaw
    Buehler
    Bauer
    Urias
    May
    Gonsolin

    You could Price in there somewhere if you want. But if you got Bauer, I’d trade Price for prospects, just to offload salary.

    In the postseason the top three guys would get the bulk of the starts. There would be no bullpen games. No throwaway games. Bullpen games in the postseason are what you do when you don’t have three solid starters.

  11. After reading all these posts, I can’t help but wonder how important money is to the Guggenheim organization. What I mean by that is that if they go over the lux tax, how does that affect their bottom line? Just looking from the outside, I don’t understand why they don’t sign Bauer and trade for some great right handed hitter. The Guggenheim organization is one of the wealthiest in the world. I guess they got there by not overpaying for ball players —- or anything. I wish they would look at the Dodgers as a hobby rather than a business.

  12. interesting 12 minute video on Youtube about how Bauer, Cole and others using banned substances to increase spin rate. Bauer himself admits to it. He even experimented during a game by charting spin rate per inning. The one inning he doctored the ball his spin rate went through the ceiling and then fell off dramatically when he stopped applying the substance. It might be worth your time to watch it.

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