MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman made the bold claim that the SF Giants are the frontrunners for Trevor Bauer. SF Giants fans should be excited about this.
Say what you want about Trevor Bauer as a fit for the SF Giants. He’s a Twitter troll, extremely outspoken, and his a history of harassing whoever dares to challenges him. But the fact remains that he’s the top free-agent pitcher on the market.
If the news that came out on Tuesday is accurate, SF Giants fans should be very excited. MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman predicted on the latest episode of the “Big Time Baseball” podcast that the Giants will sign Bauer to a five-year, $150 million contract (via 95.7 The Game).
Although Bauer already came out and said that he is keeping all his options open, the Giants would be a perfect destination for him and vice versa.
SF Giants perspective
As I mentioned in my piece “Three free-agent starters SF Giants need to avoid this winter“, the Giants need to get younger in terms of their rotation. Four of their six primary starters this season were in their 30s (Tyler Anderson is 30, Trevor Cahill is 32, Johnny Cueto is 34 and Drew Smyly is 31).
Anderson (arbitration) and Cueto (under contract through 2022) are the only two out of those four pitchers who might be coming back at this point. Regarding the pair of youngsters, Kevin Gausman (29) is still a free agent and Logan Webb (23) may need more time in the minor leagues.
Either way, a rotation of Anderson, Cueto, Gausman, and Webb is not ideal for a team looking to contend next season. As of now, there’s nothing about the Giants’ current roster which gives them an edge over the Los Angeles Dodgers or San Diego Padres.
Although they sport a potent lineup that averaged 4.98 runs per game (fifth in the National League), the Giants allowed 4.95 runs as well (ninth in the National League).
Bauer would drastically bolster the rotation and provide the Giants a healthy balance of youth and veteran leadership.
Trevor Bauer perspective
2020 was one of the best years of Bauer’s career. He is currently a finalist for the National League Cy Young award. Don’t let his 5-4 record deceive you. The 6-foot-1 right-hander led the National League in complete-game shutouts (two), earned run average (1.73), earned run average plus (276), WHIP (0.79), and hits allowed per nine innings (5.1). His two complete-game shutouts led all of baseball as well.
Bauer’s postseason outing against the Atlanta Braves (7 2/3 scoreless frames of two-hit ball along with 12 punchouts) wasn’t simply a fluke. He was legitimately one of the best pitchers in baseball all season long and carried a mediocre Cincinnati Reds squad to the playoffs.
Furthermore, for those who may not know, Bauer is a native of North Hollywood, California. He attended William S. Hart High School in Santa Clarita and played college ball at UCLA.
Considering that Bauer has spent eight of his nine professional years in the state of Ohio, it wouldn’t be surprising for him to want to return west.
The fact that the SF Giants are the frontrunners ahead of the hometown Angels and Dodgers is a great sign. Whether or not Trevor Bauer ultimately chooses the Giants remains to be seen, but usually big-name free agents decide their destination relatively quickly. That trend will most likely be the case with Bauer as well.