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A case against Trevor Bauer (and why he may be overrated)


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So I crunched some numbers, in a similar formula that I used for my top 20ish position players article awhile back. This time I added up 2019-20 fWAR and RA9-WAR, and divided the total by 2.8. The ide

I think it will come down to the years. If he gets 4 years, yeah he'll probably get 30+ million. But 6 years? I'm thinking 25-28 million.  That said, I think his contract will be backloaded so we

I don’t know if bringing Bauer’s personality into the Angels clubhouse would be an issue, but I do believe that there’s no GM who will take that more into consideration than one who literally grew up

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My fear is that the longer we wait to pull a trigger on any other move (whether it be Gray. Musgrove, Sugano, whomever), the more we will be backed into a corner and be forced to vastly overpay for Bauer.

Do I want Bauer? Yes. Do I feel like we should pay him the big bucks? Absolutely.

But do I want the Angels to be forced into overpaying him because there are no other options available? No.

Maybe they're in talks with the Reds about Gray, who knows.

But things have been quiet...

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11 hours ago, Jeff Fletcher said:

Trevor Bauer is not the only good pitcher out there. And the Angels have a lot of room for improvement. 
 

They would be better with Joe Musgrove or Jake Odorizzi or Taijuan Walker.

What did you think of Dylan Bundy a year ago?

I guess I should have worded my point better. Yeah, there are tons of options for the Angels to improve their rotation because Peters/Naughton/Suarez isn't a high bar to clear. I guess I'm more concerned with whether adding a Walker, Odorizzi, or some other middle of the rotation type pitcher would be enough to get them in the playoffs. The Angels need to make the playoffs, not just marginally improve. Perhaps it is enough if they add to the bullpen, add a catcher to supplement Stassi, and a right fielder, but I don't know if they have the room to make all those additions.

 

(Like pretty much everyone, I didn't expect Bundy to turn out to be one of the better pitchers in the AL last season. Though I did expect him to be better than he was in Baltimore since he was getting out of the AL East and there seemed to be room for him to improve his pitch mix.)

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Is the field getting smaller for Bauer services? Mets could be out with trade and going after Springer. Dodgers if they get LeMahieu and have many starters already. San Diego maybe but not a real need. Toronto is a definite contender. SF Giants another maybe but would be a long shot. White Sox could be in on Bauer. Just wondering if Angels have inside track on Bauer now. I'm not a big fan of Bauer worry about chemistry fit in clubhouse, Callaway would have insight on that. Bauer does fit halos biggest need we all know that. With field seems to getting smaller maybe price will also.

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The one sleeper team, and they should never be a sleeper team, is the Yankees.  They need an arm, their cross town rivals just picked up Lindor and Carrasco and their division is up for grabs.  The Yankees should be the favorites, but not because of anything they’ve done, but because of what Tampa did to themselves.  

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55 minutes ago, Stradling said:

The one sleeper team, and they should never be a sleeper team, is the Yankees.  They need an arm, their cross town rivals just picked up Lindor and Carrasco and their division is up for grabs.  The Yankees should be the favorites, but not because of anything they’ve done, but because of what Tampa did to themselves.  

The Yankees are trying to drastically lower their payroll and their division rivals haven't improved their rosters. 

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3 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

The problem is that Bauer has expressed a willingness to sign a one year contract, so if he doesn't get the multi-year offer he wants, someone like the Yankees may swoop in and offer him $35-40M for one year.

Has he expressed that interest this year?

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2 minutes ago, Lou said:

Has he expressed that interest this year?

Not that I'm aware of. I'm just speculating on what I've seen of his persona. If the market dries up and he's left with someone, say the Angels, offering 5/$110M, his big ego might resist that and take $35M from the Yankees for 2021, and then try again next year.

I think it more likely that he signs a multi-year contract this year, and the Angels are as good a likelihood as anyone, but I just don't think he'll take a lowball offer over a big one-year deal.

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1 hour ago, Lou said:

The Yankees are trying to drastically lower their payroll and their division rivals haven't improved their rosters. 

Right but the Yankees have taken a big step backwards in their rotation.  Unless they resign Tanaka or Paxton, they are taking a big risk heading into the season relying on whoever they have left. 

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The simple fact is that everyone knows that Bauer, like Cole, doctors the ball with a substance. No one quite knows what it is but the fact that Bauer does it makes him a peril we don't need. If the Angels sign Bauer and the Commish decides to double down and investigate the subject we're screwed. Another bona fide Angel bad decision which turns into another money pit that delays team improvement for many years. I don't like the odds. I agree with everyone else that Mike Trout should be in the playoffs and even the WS but that should not be the goal. The goal is to be prudent and build the Angels as an annual contender for years to come. Waiting for the Mo Vaughn contract to go off the books. Waiting for the Mathews contract to go off the books. Waiting for the Hamilton contract to go off the books. Waiting for the Pujols contract to go off the books....and that's only 4 All bad bad bad irrational decisions that have cost the Angels dearly. We don't need more. 

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1 hour ago, Grandpa said:

The simple fact is that everyone knows that Bauer, like Cole, doctors the ball with a substance. No one quite knows what it is but the fact that Bauer does it makes him a peril we don't need. If the Angels sign Bauer and the Commish decides to double down and investigate the subject we're screwed. Another bona fide Angel bad decision which turns into another money pit that delays team improvement for many years. I don't like the odds. I agree with everyone else that Mike Trout should be in the playoffs and even the WS but that should not be the goal. The goal is to be prudent and build the Angels as an annual contender for years to come. Waiting for the Mo Vaughn contract to go off the books. Waiting for the Mathews contract to go off the books. Waiting for the Hamilton contract to go off the books. Waiting for the Pujols contract to go off the books....and that's only 4 All bad bad bad irrational decisions that have cost the Angels dearly. We don't need more. 

Very good post.

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1 hour ago, Grandpa said:

The simple fact is that everyone knows that Bauer, like Cole, doctors the ball with a substance. No one quite knows what it is but the fact that Bauer does it makes him a peril we don't need. If the Angels sign Bauer and the Commish decides to double down and investigate the subject we're screwed. Another bona fide Angel bad decision which turns into another money pit that delays team improvement for many years. I don't like the odds. I agree with everyone else that Mike Trout should be in the playoffs and even the WS but that should not be the goal. The goal is to be prudent and build the Angels as an annual contender for years to come. Waiting for the Mo Vaughn contract to go off the books. Waiting for the Mathews contract to go off the books. Waiting for the Hamilton contract to go off the books. Waiting for the Pujols contract to go off the books....and that's only 4 All bad bad bad irrational decisions that have cost the Angels dearly. We don't need more. 

The vast majority of pitchers do. The league knows this and largely ignored it. Non story. 

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On 1/1/2021 at 2:39 PM, Angelsjunky said:

The point being, according to this metric, Bauer isn't a top 10 pitcher, more in the 15-20 range. Not bad, but hardly worth $30M a year, let along the $36-40M he's allegedly asking for. I think Corbin or 30-something Kershaw are good comps: a solid #2 guy, but not a true ace.

Just out of curiosity, did you account for the fact that Bauer was pitching on an injured ankle for most of 2019? Also, why only 2019 and the shortened season? Isn't a player normally rated over the last 3 or 4 seasons? I'm sure you had a reason but it kinda feels like the result semi-arbitrarily ignores his best season that is still recent (2018) while not accounting for his injury in discounting him as a non-ace. 

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40 minutes ago, Pancake Bear said:

Just out of curiosity, did you account for the fact that Bauer was pitching on an injured ankle for most of 2019? Also, why only 2019 and the shortened season? Isn't a player normally rated over the last 3 or 4 seasons? I'm sure you had a reason but it kinda feels like the result semi-arbitrarily ignores his best season that is still recent (2018) while not accounting for his injury in discounting him as a non-ace. 

First of all, I'm not saying that he's a non-ace, just that he's not a clear ace, and that he'll likely be paid as one. Re-reading the paragraph that you quoted, I do think it overstates the idea that he is not a top 10 pitcher when, in the end, he probably is. Off the top of my head, of pitchers that I think are clearly better, the ones that come to mind are Bieber, deGrom, Scherzer, and Cole. Then you have a group of pitchers of which Bauer could be considered part of, say the 5-15 range. But if a gun is held to my head, I'd say he's top 10.

I narrowed it to 2019-20 because I think the further back you go, the less it is representative of the present. If we look at 2018-20, Bauer looks quite good: his fWAR is 6th among all pitchers and his ERA 11th.

No, I didn't know he had a bum ankle. That certainly helps the perspective that 2018/20 is more representative of his true talent level.

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