While there's nothing close to an agreement between the two sides and other teams are involved, the New York Mets "continue to be engaged" on free agent starter Trevor Bauer, according to Andy Martino of SNY.
The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported earlier this week that the Mets were concerned that signing the star, who has been accused of bullying on social media, would "renew questions about the team's culture" following the public disclosure of sexual harassment by former general manager Jared Porter.
According to Martino, the Mets originally planned to forego the chase for the defending Cy Young award winner in an effort to stay under the league's $210 million luxury tax threshold, but it now appears they'd be willing to swap in that course of action.
Kate Feldman @kateefeldman
I had death threats and Holocaust jokes in my mentions for months after he went after me. I didn't tag him. I didn't even QT him. This is what his followers did after he told them to go after me. This is OK with his agent, reporters and, I guess, the Mets. https://t.co/ITMuJxdchW
On Friday, New York Daily News reporter Kate Feldman went public about harassment she faced after Bauer fought with her on Twitter in August. Bauer has also been called out for his behavior in the past. In 2019, a Texas State University student said she felt harassed by tweets directed toward her from Bauer.
Bauer released a statement on Friday, claiming that he was "by no means a bully."
Rosenthal reported Friday that the Mets were "more focused" on adding Bauer to the roster following outfielder George Springer's decision to sign a six-year, $150 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. According to Rosenthal, the decision ultimately came down to money, and the Mets were unwilling to move beyond $120 million.
That could present an interesting dilemma as they try to land Bauer, who is looking to earn $35 million annually, per MLB.com's Mark Feinsand. Further, the Mets are at $166.9 million for the 2021 season, and Spotrac suggests Bauer is due a four-year, $117.1 million contract.
Last season, Bauer posted a 1.73 ERA and fanned 100 batters with 17 walks through 73 innings, giving up 14 earned runs and nine home runs. He would be a worthy addition to a Mets club that has been ordered to build like "a major-market team" by new owner Steve Cohen.