Trevor Bauer, Minnesota Twins are a Perfect Fit; Falvey Needs to Move Before it’s Too Late

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks
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Spring Training began today for a plethora of MLB teams, including the Minnesota Twins. One player not on their roster, or anyone else’s is former Cy Young winner, Trevor Bauer, who hasn’t played in a Major League Baseball game since June 28, 2021 as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Related: Minnesota Twins Players are Starting to Trickle into Fort Myers for 2024 Spring Training

That’s when a woman from San Diego accused Bauer of sexually assaulting her. Two other women joined the suit against him, and shortly after, he was slapped with a 324-game suspension, which was later reduced to 194 games, thanks to an independent arbitrator. The Dodgers released him about 13 months ago (Jan 2023).

The 33-year-old Bauer has denied allegations against him, saying the sexual encounters were consensual. The initial lawsuit was dropped, after Bauer filed a defamation suit against the original accuser. He still has an active civil defamation case against a woman in Arizona.

Trevor Bauer desperate to get back into the MLB

“I agreed to do things I shouldn’t have done. It was reckless. It hurt a lot of people along the way. It made things very difficult for Major League Baseball, for the Dodgers, my teammates, friends, family, people close to me. So I’ve done a lot of reflecting on that and made a lot of changes in my life to address that.”

Bauer – Jan. 2024 (FOX News interview)

For someone who is claiming innocence, this is about as much as you can expect them to take responsibility for their actions. Bauer says everything he did was consensual, but that he knew he was doing freaky stuff in bed that could get him in trouble, if it ever went public (it did) or if one of his sexual companions ever came after him (they did). Thus, he claims, he doesn’t go out anymore and doesn’t date casually.

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In a January interview, Trevor Bauer told Outkick’s Tomi Lauren that he doesn’t have casual sex anymore, after this entire saga derailed his life and baseball career, which is part of the responsibility he has taken for everything that has happened.

“I’ve stopped having, like, casual sexual relationships. Stopped agreeing to engage in rough sex acts. I’m looking for more people that add value to my life instead of something that I’m doing for a couple of hours on a night and then kind of forget about. I have other things that I’m focused on. I’d like to go back to work. I have a job, I run a business. Maybe I go back to dating at some point in the future but not something I’m focused on right now.”

Bauer to Outkick’s Tomi Lauren (quote via Sportsnaut)

I’m not here to proclaim Trevor Bauer’s innocence. That’s for a legal system to decide. There are really bad people all over the professional sports landscape, at all levels. If he’s eligible to play, then it’s up to every team in the league to decide individually if the drama and controversy of signing him is worth what he will bring to the team on the baseball diamond.

So far, the answer to that question has been “no”. And lately, Bauer has gone even more public with his desire to play in the MLB again. He says he will shut his mouth, play for the league minimum and do his job with a big smile on his face. Trevor claims all he wants is a shot at making a roster out of spring training. No guarantees, no handshake pictures. Just a non-roster invite somewhere. Here he is on the Theo Von podcast last week:

Would a flyer on Trevor Bauer be worth it?

So, what could Trevor Bauer offer a Major League Baseball starting rotation, if he does indeed still have years left on the prime of his career; which, given his early-30’s age, he still should? Well, if anyone wants a possible Cy Young candidate on a league minimum contract + incentives, I’d say he’s at least worth looking into.

Prior to June 2021, Bauer was one of the most dominant starting pitchers in all of baseball. He won the Cy Young during the pandemic shortened 2020 season, posting video game numbers in just 74 innings pitched (1.73 ERA, 100 SO, 17 BB, 0.795 WHIP, 2.88 FIP and 284 ERA+).

The next season (2021), before the Dodgers shut him down because of the sexual assault allegations against him, Bauer was on pace to his second-straight Cy Young. He had pitched 107 innings, posting a 2.59 ERA, 137 strikeouts, 37 walks, 1.003 WHIP and 163 ERA+. In other words, he was absurdly dominant.

From the start of 2020, through when he as banned from American baseball at the end of June 2021, Trevor Bauer was one of the best pitchers in the world and there’s really no disputing that. It’s why the Dodgers signed him to a 3-year, $102 million deal before the 2021 season.

Related: Derek Falvey Says Minnesota Twins are Still Working on More Potential Moves

While serving his suspension, Bauer went over to Japan and struggled in a much lower league. Is that a reason not to sign him? No, there was a lot going on in his life. Is it a reason to be concerned he may no longer have what he once did? Sure. But again, he isn’t asking for a 10-year contract. He’s begging for a Spring Training invite.

Signing Trevor Bauer a no-brainer decision for Minnesota Twins

trevor bauer pitching
Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins have been on the hunt for another mid-rotation starting pitcher, since the start of the offseason. The assumption was always that Sonny Gray would leave and that the Twins would be left twisting and turning, to try and find another ace-type arm to replace him.

They’ve been trying to sell a Tommy John rehabilitated Chris Paddack has a chance to be that guy, and hopefully they are right. But he’s never proven himself as anything more than a high-upside youngster.

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If Trevor Bauer really has turned his life around and, as he claims, can still pitch near a Cy Young level, he’s represents a chance for the Twins’ front office to replace Sonny Gray for one year, at a league minimum salary. If he doesn’t have it anymore or he proves not to be the changed person he claims, drop him and move on.

The Twins — with Carlos Correa, Byron Buxton and Pablo Lopez — offer one of the most stable locker rooms in the league for Bauer to drop into. And most importantly, since this is professional sports we’re talking about, Bauer offers Minnesota their best chance at gaining exactly what the 2024 team is still missing, if they want to be a legitimate World Series contender.

From a pure baseball standpoint, signing Trevor Bauer is a no-brainer decision. And because of the circumstances surrounding the 2024 Twins, they are the perfect landing spot for him. Yes, you will get some heat from certain media outlets and PR Director Dustin Morse would be busy for a week fielding complaints.

Most times, I’d argue the juice isn’t worth the squeeze. But in this situation, given the Twins’ self-inflicted salary restraints, combined with their drive to remain competitive, taking a flyer on Bauer seems 100% worth a shot.

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