Trevor Bauer already had a National League-best 1.73 ERA to show off as he hits free agency. Now he also has an NL Cy Young Award to go along with it — as do the Reds, for the first time in
Trevor Bauer already had a National League-best 1.73 ERA to show off as he hits free agency. Now he also has an NL Cy Young Award to go along with it — as do the Reds, for the first time in franchise history.
And though the 29-year-old said after receiving the award Wednesday night that he hadn’t given free agency much thought, plenty of others have — including the Mets’ new front office.
Team president Sandy Alderson said he thought Bauer “would be a great personality in New York. [He’s] the kind of guy that fans would endorse. We’re in the entertainment business.”
Those comments, made during a Tuesday interview with WFAN, resonated with Bauer, who is known for his outspoken personality and expressiveness on Twitter.
“It was refreshing to hear him speak that way about me,’’ Bauer said. “I think in the past, a lot of the narrative surrounding me is that I couldn’t handle a big media market, [that] I was a head case. To hear someone as high-ranking as Sandy feels the way he feels about that is refreshing.”
Bauer rejected the Reds’ $18.9 million qualifying offer and said he’s spoken to some teams since he hit free agency, the first pitcher to win the Cy Young then hit free agency since Roger Clemens in 2004. He added his agent, Rachel Luba, told him there were no signs of a depressed market in the wake of COVID-related financial issues teams might be facing.
He is the first Reds pitcher to win the award — which was first awarded in 1956. The only other clubs not to have a Cy Young winner are the Rangers, Marlins and Rockies — though the latter two didn’t begin play until 1993.
Bauer acknowledged that playing in a big market might appeal to him, and both the Mets and Yankees could use him in their respective rotations, though it remains to be seen how the Mets approach free agency under new owner Steve Cohen and the Yankees may be looking to stay under the $210 million luxury-tax threshold.
Another potential roadblock with Bauer and the Yankees is the presence of Gerrit Cole, Bauer’s former teammate at UCLA. The two have had a difficult history together, though Bauer said that was behind them.
“We don’t have much of a relationship,’’ Bauer said. “I would say he lives his life and I live mine. We don’t cross paths a whole lot. It’s certainly not the hate-filled relationship many people in the media believe it is or try to make it out to be. … We had our differences in college, but that was nine or 10 years ago. I’m a different person now than I was then. I’m sure the same is true for him. At the end of the day, I want to win. I hate losing. It drives me nuts. It was pretty evident from watching him pitch and watching his performances in the postseason and how into it he is, that he feels the same way.”
Cole just finished the first year on the nine-year, $324 million deal he signed last December.
“If given the opportunity to do that and play alongside him again, I’d be more than open to it,’’ Bauer said. “I want to win. I want to be happy while doing so. I don’t think there’s anything between us, at least on my end. I can’t speak for Gerrit.”
Bauer received 27 out of 30 first-place votes with the other three going to Yu Darvish of the Cubs. The Mets’ Jacob deGrom, who won the previous two NL Cy Youngs, finished third.
Indians ace Shane Bieber was the unanimous winner of the AL award. He went 8-1 with a 1.63 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 77 ¹/₃ innings during the pandemic-shortened season, leading the majors in ERA and strikeouts, and tying Darvish for the most wins.
Twins right-hander Kenta Maeda was second in AL voting, followed by Blue Jays left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu.