The Los Angeles Dodgers have been surprisingly quiet in MLB free agency over the last month and a half, and there appears to be a very specific and costly reason for this.
The absence of the Los Angeles Dodgers from MLB free agency is reportedly due to the Trevor Bauer situation
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In recent weeks, MLB organizations have set records by awarding over a billion dollars in contracts to various star players.
The New York Yankees paid $360 million to Aaron Judge, the Mets will pay Justin Verlander more than $40 million per year for the next two years, and the San Diego Padres and Xander Bogaerts agreed to a massive $280 million contract.
Many of the league’s big and mid-market teams have been spending to improve their rosters in recent weeks, but the Dodgers haven’t made much noise beyond random speculation.
Despite being one of the biggest spenders each year, the organization’s most notable offseason moves were the release of former National League MVP Cody Bellinger and the re-signing of Clayton Kershaw at a reduced rate.
However, according to a new report, the ongoing situation with suspended starting pitcher Trevor Bauer has had a significant impact on the team’s offseason decision-making.
The return of Trevor Bauer is the reason for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ cautious approach to MLB free agency
While the Dodgers had one of the highest payrolls in the league last season, the organization actually saved money on Bauer.
After being accused of sexual assault last year, the ace pitcher is serving a two-year suspension. However, the arbitration process for his ongoing ban may be nearing completion.
- Trevor Bauer’s stats for 2021 are as follows: 8-5 record, 2.59 ERA, 1.003 WHIP, 137 SO, 107.2 IP.
According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, with Trevor Bauer potentially receiving a favorable arbitration ruling in the near future, his sizable contract will be added back to the Dodgers payroll, which is a major reason for the team’s cautious approach to the MLB free agent market this winter.
“The Dodgers, fearing they might owe tens of millions in salary and luxury-tax penalties if an arbitrator reduces or overturns Trevor Bauer’s two-year suspension, are proceeding with caution this offseason. They are not unwilling to spend amid the Bauer uncertainty, as evidenced by their addition of Freddie Freeman last March and recent bid for Justin Verlander. But club officials view the roster as deep enough for them to pursue free agents in their usual manner — at their price.”
Bauer is expected to be released by the Los Angeles Dodgers once he is reinstated. He has one year and $32 million remaining on the three-year, $102 million contract he signed with the team before the 2021 season.
After an MLB investigation found enough evidence to place him on indefinite leave last year, he missed the majority of the 2021 season and the entire 2022 season.