The New York Mets have reportedly made an offer to pitcher Trevor Bauer worth less than the record annual value of $36 million and only for three or four years, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
The reported offer could also feature opt-outs.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today previously reported a deal for Bauer could "approach" the average salary record set by Gerrit Cole last offseason when he signed a nine-year, $324 million contract with the New York Yankees.
The Los Angeles Angels were also considered in the running but the chances of them signing Bauer are now "practically zero," according to Maria Torres of the Los Angeles Times.
On Tuesday, Nightengale called the Mets the "favorites" to land Bauer.
The 30-year-old is coming off a huge season, winning the NL Cy Young Award after leading league with a 1.73 ERA and 0.795 WHIP. This is likely enough to lead to a high annual salary in his next deal.
Teams would still be smart to limit the years for a pitcher who has been inconsistent in his career.
Bauer's success in 2020 came in just 11 starts during a shortened season, while he has produced an ERA below four in only one other season. The right-hander has a 3.90 career ERA while he has allowed 7.9 hits per nine innings overall, much worse than his league-leading mark of 5.1 last year.
However, Heyman reported Bauer could be seeking a longer deal, which could be enough for opposing organizations to outbid the Mets.