Trevor Bauer is coming home to pitch for the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner announced his decision on Friday in a two-minute video posted to his Twitter account. Bauer narrated the piece, which ended with him saying, “This season is about making sure history remembers us as we wish to be remembered. This season is about adding to our legacy. And I can’t wait, Dodger fans.”
The video was titled MY NEW HOME!!! and the credits said it was written by Bauer, who wore a Dodgers jersey and cap. He tossed a baseball from one hand to the other.
Bauer, who turned 30 last month, was born in North Hollywood, Calif., went to high school in Santa Clarita and played baseball at UCLA.
The right-handed free agent also was negotiating with the New York Mets. Bauer’s agent, Rachel Luba, tweeted, “So excited for your next chapter with the Dodgers, Trevor Bauer.”
Bauer joins a Dodgers rotation that had a major-league-best 3.02 ERA during the abbreviated 60-game season last year, when the franchise won its first championship since 1988.
He will slot in among ace Walker Buehler, three-time NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw and 2012 AL Cy Young winner David Price, who opted out last season because of the pandemic.
Bauer is 75-64 with a 3.90 ERA in nine major-league seasons that included a career-best 17-9 with a 4.19 ERA for Cleveland in 2017. He was an all-star the following year, going 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA.
Bauer was 5-4 in his second season with Cincinnati and his 1.73 ERA was second in the major leagues among qualified pitchers behind only Cleveland’s Shane Bieber at 1.63. Bauer earned US$6,481,481 in prorated pay from a US$17.5-million salary.
Arizona drafted Bauer with the third overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft. He made his league debut with the Diamondbacks the following year and went 1-2 in four starts, then was traded to Cleveland in December, 2012, with pitchers Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw as part of a three-team trade that brought shortstop Didi Gregorius and pitcher Tony Sipp to Arizona, outfielder Drew Stubbs to Cleveland and outfielder Shin-soo Choo to Cincinnati.
He was traded to Cincinnati in July, 2019, in another three-team deal, one that brought pitcher Logan Allen and outfielders Franmil Reyes and outfielder Yasiel Puig to Cleveland.
Bauer has caused controversy on social media. A female college student claimed to USA Today in 2019 that Bauer harassed her on Twitter, accusing him of retweeting an old tweet of her referring to drinking alcohol before her 21st birthday. USA Today said there were 80 tweets of Bauer that mentioned her and 20 of her that mentioned the pitcher. Bauer tweeted the woman “was obsessed with me.”
He took after baseball owners for the sport’s economics last May during bargaining to start the pandemic-delayed season.
“There’s so many ways to hide the money,” he said, adding owners could reduce ticket prices and at the same time charge more for parking garages they control through different entities that do not benefit the club.
“If I’m going to have to trust my salary to Rob Manfred marketing the game to make more money for the game, I am out on that,” Bauer said. “Let me market the game and we’ll all make more money.”
L.A.’s other off-season moves include re-signing reliever Blake Treinen to a US$17.5-million, two-year contract, and agreeing to a US$4.75-million, two-year deal with reliever Tommy Kahnle, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery in August.
Because Bauer turned down an US$18.9-million qualifying offer, L.A. will forfeit its second-highest pick in the July amateur draft and US$500,000 of international signing bonus allocation.
Cincinnati will receive an extra draft pick after competitive balance round B, approximately No. 60, as compensation.