NL Cy Young winner Bauer joins World Series champion Dodgers

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Saturday, February 6, 2021
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SoCal native Trevor Bauer is coming home to pitch for the Dodgers. The reigning National League Cy Young Award winner was born in North Hollywood and played baseball at UCLA.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Trevor Bauer, the 2020 National League Cy Young Award winner, says he will sign with World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers, with the California native announcing the major move in a video posted on his social media accounts Friday.

The two-minute video ended with him saying, "And I can't wait Dodger fans." The video was titled "MY NEW HOME!!!"

Bauer and the Dodgers are in agreement on a three-year, $102 million deal that has opt-outs after Years 1 and 2, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan. Bauer is set to make $40 million in 2021 and $45 million in 2022, sources said.

Sources told Passan that the Mets offered a higher overall value than the Dodgers, but Los Angeles' offer will make him the highest-paid player in each of the next two seasons.

Bauer, who turned 30 last month, was born in North Hollywood, went to high school in Santa Clarita and played baseball at UCLA.

The right-handed free agent was the first reigning Cy Young Award winner to enter free agency since Greg Maddux in 1992.

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 is a first-time free agent who played last season for the Cincinnati Reds on a $17 million deal that was prorated to $6.4 million. He was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball in 2020, going 5-4 with a 1.73 ERA, a 0.79 WHIP, 100 strikeouts and 17 walks during the pandemic-shortened season. Opposing batters hit .159 against him, which led all major league pitchers. In addition to WHIP and ERA, Bauer led the NL in ERA-plus, which adjusts for his hitter-friendly home ballpark, and hits allowed per nine innings (5.055) in 2020.

Bauer's arsenal includes a variety of pitches, and he found great success with his cut fastball while throwing an NL-high two complete-game shutouts last season. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Bauer set up batters to knock them out on the outer half of the plate, leading the NL with 63 strikeouts while holding hitters to a .145 batting average in that location.

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.

Arizona drafted Bauer with the third overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft. He made his big 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 outfielder Franmil Reyes to the Indians, and outfielder Yasiel Puig to the Indians.

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 on retweeting an old tweet of her referring to drinking alcohol before her 21st birthday. USA Today said that among 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."

Los Angeles' other offseason moves include re-signing reliever Blake Treinen to a $17.5 million, two-year contract, and agreeing to a $4.75 million, two-year deal with reliever Tommy Kahnle, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery in August.

Because Bauer turned down an $18.9 million qualifying offer, Los Angeles will forfeit its second-highest pick in the July amateur draft and $500,000 of international signing bonus allocation.

Cincinnati will receive an extra draft pick after competitive balance round B, approximately No. 60, as compensation.

ESPN and The Associated Press contributed to this report.