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Trevor Bauer to the Dodgers: 3/$102M

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Trevor Bauer has landed a huge short-term deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers

Wild Card Round - Cincinnati Reds v Atlanta Braves - Game One Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

MLB Rumors: Trevor Bauer and the Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed to terms on a three year deal with opt outs after years one and two, per multiple reports. While reports had indicated that it was a two team race as of yesterday, the expectation was that the New York Mets were the heavy favorite for Bauer, with the Dodgers, the other team involved, being a longshot.

The deal reportedly guarantees Bauer $40 million in 2021, with an opt-out after the 2021 season. If he does not opt out, he is guaranteed $45 million in 2022, with an opt-out after the 2022 season. If he does not opt out after the 2022 season, Bauer is guaranteed $17 million in 2023.

For practical purposes, this would seem to most likely be a 2 year, $85 million deal — it seems unlikely Bauer would have a 2021 season so good he would forfeit a $45 million one year payday, and unless Bauer is injured at the end of 2022 or pitches poorly during this deal, he would seem likely to be able to get a raise from the $17 million he is due in 2023.

The Dodgers have been rumored to have been aggressive with other free agents — notably Bryce Harper — on high AAV, short term contracts in previous years, though those players ultimately went for the long time security and higher guaranteed payday provided by longer term deals. There is logic in that approach for Los Angeles, since even if they are paying a player an enormous some of money in AAV, a two or three year deal is not really going to hinder the team in terms of what it is doing long-term — if it doesn’t pan out, well, the spent a lot of money they didn’t get a return on, but they aren’t stuck with a bad deal for a lengthy stretch of time.

It seems they’ve finally found a player who wants to go that route with them.