Many would say the Yankees have some work to do this offseason. Perhaps even some changes to the team may be in order. With DJ LeMahieu, James Paxton, and Masahiro Tanaka all set to hit the open market, we can expect the Yankees to be very active in both free agency and the trade market. By far the best pitcher who’ll be looking for a home this winter will be former-Reds righty, Trevor Bauer. Bauer brings a lot to the party, and he should be near, if not at, the top of the Yankees’ offseason wish list.
Trevor Bauer: A Cy Young Winner?
Many casual fans may not know it, but Trevor Bauer is really good, and he has the stuff and the numbers to back it up. Bauer made his case for the NL Cy Young award in 2020, as his 1.73 ERA in 73 innings would suggest. Furthermore, Bauer struck out 100 hitters this past season and his K/9 sat at a stellar 12.33 — the highest of his career.
Bauer also had a FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) of 2.88 and an xFIP (Expected Fielding Independent Pitching) of 3.25. There’s no doubt that Bauer is a number-one starter on most teams, despite his 5-4 record suggesting otherwise.
Why Do the Yankees Need Him?
Well, simply put, Bauer’s an ace. Now, he would be the second-best starter on the Yankees with Gerrit Cole manning the duties as the anchor, but a 1-2 punch of Cole and Bauer would be deadly, especially in the postseason. Speaking of the Postseason, Bauer’s success in October should get all fans excited, as the righty is sporting a 2.94 ERA in 11 postseason games (33.2 innings), with 44 strikeouts.
As mentioned before, both Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton will be free-agents come this Winter, so the Bombers have at least two holes to fill in their starting staff. Replacing one of those two arms with Bauer would give the Yankees an immense boost on the hill.
What Would Keep the Yankees from Getting Him?
Money. Although Cole and Bauer have a little bit of a rivalry, enough money would convince anyone to put their troubles aside with a potential teammate. Unfortunately, after spending a whopping $324 million on Cole last December, and the idea that the Yankees will want to retain LeMahieu, who will likely get a fairly hefty deal, the Bombers may be reluctant to throw more money around. Having said that, we are talking about the New York Yankees, and if they want a player, they’ll get him. Just look at Cole.
No matter what, this offseason will be an interesting one, and the Yanks have some decisions to make. It will be interesting to see whether or not they try to bring back their free agents or if they venture out into the open market to fill their needs.