"The Mets are the favorites to land the top starter on the market," Nightengale said, while reporting that the Mets made "a lucrative contract formal offer ... about 10 days ago."
Earlier Tuesday, Nightengale said the Mets offer would "approach—but not eclipse" the $36 million average value that New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole was signed to last year, while MLB Network's Jon Heyman said the offer wasn't quite as large, but the team had "some interest."
Mike Puma of the New York Post reported "the likelihood remains strong" that Bauer's offer from the Mets "will pay him north of $30 million for at least four years," with opt-outs included.
While Bauer's free agency has also linked him to the Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers, Puma reported that Bauer's desire to build his brand would make him select the Mets if contract offers among all his finalists matched.
Adding Bauer, who won the National League Cy Young Award after registering a 1.73 ERA through 11 starts for the Cincinnati Reds in 2020, to the rotation would round out a worthy crew. Jacob deGrom, who won the NL Cy Young in 2019, is already under contract. The Mets supplemented their ace by acquiring Carlos Carrasco from Cleveland and extending a qualifying offer worth $18.9 million to Marcus Stroman.
The Mets have been busy in their first offseason under new owner Steve Cohen, who has encouraged the club to spend like a big-market team. They have already added Carrasco and Francisco Lindor from Cleveland and signed Trevor May and James McCann in free agency.