The top starting pitcher on the free agent market just signed a huge deal with the reigning World Series Champions. Say what you will about Trevor Bauer on social media or off the field, but he had an exceptional 2020 season. What does this deal mean for the Brewers?
First of all, the money the Dodgers had to pay to Bauer may work in the favor of the Crew. With a guaranteed total of $102MM on the deal, which includes a $40MM salary in 2021 and a $45MM salary in 2022 going to the reigning Cy Young Award winner, you have to wonder if that will hurt the Dodgers chances of resigning Justin Turner, whom the Brewers have recently shown interest in.
The Dodgers just blew past the luxury tax limit for 2021 and there may not be enough money left to pay Turner.
Many Brewers fans feel like the acquisition of Turner would really solidify that lineup as one of the better ones in the NL if some guys can bounce back from a down year at the dish in 2020.
Time will tell if this deal takes the Dodgers out of a pursuit of Turner, but if it does, that’s fantastic news for the Brewers, who are reportedly one of the finalists for him. Los Angeles is Turner’s preferred destination, but if they’re out, the Brewers can swoop in.
What else does this deal mean for the Brewers? Well, they don’t have to face Bauer as much as he’s obviously no longer in the division. He had his most wins against the Brewers out of any team he faced last year going 2-1 with a 2.66 ERA with 32 strikeouts in just over 20 innings. Bauer also put out a 8.00 K/BB ratio, also the best out of all the opponents he faced in 2020. Brewer hitters should be glad to see him leave the division.
Lastly, the long-term effect of this all. If the Brewers can make a playoff run, it seems inevitable that Los Angeles will be there waiting for them at some point. Pitchers for the Dodgers include: Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, David Price, Julio Urias, Dustin May and now Trevor Bauer. The Dodgers projected starting rotation payroll is $109MM after the Bauer addition.
This decision to return home for Bauer (who played at UCLA) was a very important one for many teams around the league as they now can direct their attention elsewhere and prepare to face this elite hurler.
While it certainly may be nice to get Bauer out of the division in the short-term picture, I find it hard to believe him and the Dodgers won’t be a heavy favorite to win the World Series now.
If the Brewers want any chance to make a deep playoff run, they’ll have to exorcise the demons that are the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have given the Brewers an exit from the postseason two out of the last three seasons.