Free agent starting pitcher Trevor Bauer is seeking a five-to-six-year deal worth at least $36 million per season, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman.
The report was quickly denied by Bauer.
Trevor Bauer @BauerOutage
Allllllsooooooo if you’re going to go out of your way to report that someone declines to comment you might want to make sure it’s ACTUALLY true (*it’s not*). Don’t you have to actually talk to someone for them to “decline”? Wouldn’t want to be fake news now would we Jonny boy? https://t.co/lyn4UIL58j
The reigning National League Cy Young-winner played on a one-year, $17.5 million deal with the Cincinnati Reds last season. He's now seeking one of the largest contracts for a pitcher in MLB history. The New York Yankees gave Gerrit Cole a nine-year, $324 million deal ($36 million per year) last offseason.
Spotrac puts Bauer's market value at $21.7 million per year and predicted him signing for four years, $87 million.
Either way, the 29-year-old is in a position to ask for whatever he wants following a stellar 2020 season in which he earned 27 of 30 possible first-place votes to run away with the NL Cy Young award.
Bauer started 11 games with a 1.73 ERA, 0.795 WHIP, 100 strikeouts and 17 walks. He was charged with 14 earned runs total on the year and only nine of the 41 hits he gave up left the park—an astounding feat considering Cincinnati's Great American Ballpark has long been a haven for sluggers.
The Reds have previously said they'll do "everything we can" to reach a new deal with the UCLA product, but they'll be competing with a number of teams who have a history of handing out mega-deals. That includes the New York Yankees, New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels and San Francisco Giants.
The San Diego Padres, another likely destination, are suddenly running out of starting rotation slots after trading for Tampa Bay Rays ace Blake Snell and completing a deal for Yu Darvish from the Chicago Cubs.
Whoever lands Bauer will certainly be asked to hand over a large sum of money to do so. His 2020 season proved it's a gamble worth taking.