Trevor Bauer's future may soon be decided, but at least for now, it appears as though he is still going through the decision-making process.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported Bauer agreed to a contract with the New York Mets on Thursday night. Moments later, though, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reported the two sides did not have an agreement.
Rachel Luba, Bauer's agent, appeared to confirm a decision had not been made:
Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported earlier Thursday the Mets had offered a three-year deal worth close to $100 million. Per Heyman, the Los Angeles Dodgers remain in the mix, with a decision expected to be made "within 24 hours."
Per Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Mets had grown "increasingly confident" about their odds of signing Bauer as of Thursday afternoon.
Bauer, whom the Reds acquired via trade from Cleveland during the 2019 season, was on the short list of the most sought-after free agents heading into this offseason following a brilliant 2020 campaign. Cincinnati could have traded him at the deadline and gotten something back in return before he potentially went elsewhere, but the right-hander helped lead the team into the playoffs.
The 30-year-old finished the 2020 season as the National League Cy Young Award winner behind a 1.73 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and 100 strikeouts in 73 innings.
He was part of a formidable starting pitching staff in Cincinnati alongside Sonny Gray and Luis Castillo, which is a major reason it reached the expanded playoffs in the shortened season.
Making the playoffs wasn't the only welcome development for Bauer in 2020.
The California native bounced back from a disappointing 2019 showing just in time for free agency, improving on the 4.48 ERA he posted while splitting time between Cincinnati and Cleveland. It was a far cry from the 2.21 mark he posted in 2018 and was particularly bad with the Reds, finishing his 10 starts with a 6.39 ERA.
It was fair to wonder if the 2018 campaign, which was the only one he had finished with a sub-4.00 ERA in his first seven seasons, was an anomaly given those struggles, but he proved otherwise in 2020.
Bauer also helped Cleveland reach the 2016 World Series, when they lost to the Chicago Cubs in a memorable seven-game battle.
Despite coming so close that year, he is missing a championship ring from his resume. That could change if he joins the Mets, who feature a formidable rotation that already includes Jacob deGrom and Marcus Stroman. Of course, signing with the Dodgers—the reigning World Series champs—could also help him pursue a ring.
If Bauer does sign with New York, it would not be difficult to envision those three taking over the playoffs and carrying the Mets to postseason success after they missed out on the playoffs the last four years.