On Sunday night, Trevor Bauer posted a video to his Youtube channel discussing what is important to him and what he is looking for in free agency, and it was a very interesting video to say the least.
Normally, we don’t get an inside perspective of what it’s like to be a free agent and the thought process behind what a player wants when picking a team. Bauer broke everything down clearly from what is not important at all to him to what is most important.
The Yankees have a glaring need for starting pitching and an addition like Bauer would be a huge step in the right direction. But can the Yankees provide Bauer with what he wants from a team? Here are some of the things Bauer said that are most important to him:
The first thing that Bauer said is very important to him; he wants to have a partnership with the team he signs with.
Bauer is very data-driven with his workout, recovery, and performance. He wants a team that will respect his training approach. He mentioned when he first entered the league, the Diamondbacks would not allow him to throw weighted balls. Today throwing weighted balls is a normal thing among pitchers when training. The numbers speak for themselves — his training methods have proven to be successful and whoever he signs with should continue to allow him to do his training methods and show him new stuff as well.
Like Trevor said in his video, he wants a partnership with the team he signs with. He wants his team to give him information that he can learn from to improve himself. Matt Blake and Bauer were together in Cleveland and a reunion of these two seems like it could be the perfect partnership given how analytically driven both of them are.
He can show other players his training methods and what works for him and how it translated to his success. It could potentially help other pitchers on the staff as well.
Growing his brand & growing the game
Bauer’s media company, Momentum, is very important to him. He loves to connect with fans on a human level and he wants to continue doing so wherever he signs. Bauer wants to be on a team that allows him to continue to vlog. Ultimately, he wants to grow the game and give insight into what it’s like being a Major Leaguer, create inspiration for the younger generation, and grow interest in baseball. He would like his teammates involved as well.
Personally, I think what Bauer is doing is great for the game overall. He’s going the extra mile and trying to grow the game. Vlogging behind the scenes with fellow Yankees would be a great way to grow his brand as well as the game. There is no reason why any team in the league should be opposed to it as long as it’s not a distraction. Bauer said he would want to connect with future teammates. It got me thinking, a Momentum vlog with Luke Voit or Aaron Judge would make for some great content.
Chance to win a World Series
Like any player, a championship is also very important to Bauer. The Yankees can definitely provide him with that chance, with his help of course. The Yankees rotation is thin at the moment, but a 1-2 punch of Cole and Bauer and that rotation would be a top five in baseball immediately. Their early exits throughout the past few years were due to their lack of pitching. Having these two guys out the gate for games 1 and 2 immediately puts the Yankees at a major advantage.
There is no bigger stage to play on than Yankee Stadium in October. I believe he would thrive under the lights with 50,000 fans cheering on a brisk October night. He is built for those big moments.
“That’s when I’m at my best when all the marbles are on the line. The bigger the situation, the better I perform, the more fun I have” – Trevor Bauer
Considered to pitch every 4th day
This one is tricky and unconventional, but in the Yankees situation, it may be perfect for 2021. Trevor Bauer believes he would be a better pitcher pitching every fourth day instead of every fifth day. Based on how he recovers after his bullpen sessions, lifts, and starts, he has data that suggests he would be better pitching on four days rest.
He also states that viewing it from a “partnership side” that he does not want to take away from his teammate’s ability to do their job effectively. Looking at the current rotation, Bauer pitching every fourth day could make a lot of sense.
The only locks in the rotation right now are Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery, and Deivi Garcia. Severino should be back from Tommy John around June or July, but will likely be placed on an inning limit. At that point, they could opt to use Bauer every fourth day and give Sevy an extra day of rest. This also would potentially allow Severino to pitch further into the season. The Yankees won’t want to push Severino too hard at first and Bauer is more than willing to cover for a teammate who needs an extra day of rest.
Also, it certainly helps to have another pitcher alongside Cole who is willing to pitch on shorter rest in the postseason.
Like all free agents, money is very important and Bauer is no different. Since the start of 2018, he has an 11.6 fWAR, which ranks sixth amongst qualified pitchers. He just won a Cy Young and will be 30 when the season starts. He deserves his payday and will be the highest-paid pitcher this offseason.
Ultimately, the Yankees do have the money if they are willing to spend it on him. They are still focused on bringing DJ LeMahieu back and if they do, then Bauer seems highly unlikely. However, if DJ walks, it opens up several new doors of opportunities the Yankees could pursue which include signing the top pitching free agent for the second year in a row.
Trevor Bauer’s video was very interesting to get an inside look at what goes through a player’s mind when they are a free agent. It was also nice to hear it from the player himself instead of constant speculation from reporters. People say a lot of things about Bauer, but the one thing that can’t be denied is that the guy works just as hard if not harder than anyone else and he’s a team player as well as a true competitor. That’s the type of player any team should be going after.
The Yankees need to address their starting pitching this offseason once again and there is no better pitcher on the market right now than Bauer. If they want Bauer alongside Cole in the rotation, they can provide him with everything he’s looking for and the Yankees may be the best destination for Bauer.