LA Angels: Trevor Bauer names 4 deciding factors in free agency update

Trevor Bauer (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Trevor Bauer (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Angels
Trevor Bauer (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Despite current salaries, the Angels have the financial flexibility to sign Bauer to a longterm deal.

The biggest question in a team bringing in Bauer isn’t his vlogging or personality. It’s going to be about salary, and how much a team is willing to spend during this offseason of uncertainty.

The COVID-19 pandemic has metaphorically infected the MLB market, causing a record number of tendered contracts and pushing a traditionally slow offseason at a snail’s pace. This has caused teams around the league (except for maybe the Padres and Mets) to make their trades and signings with extreme caution.

A few weeks ago, MLB Insider Jon Heyman reported Bauer is looking for a contract in the range of 5-6 years for $200 million, to which Bauer and his agent chimed in.

He hasn’t had a perfect career up to this point, but I think Bauer deserves to be paid coming off his CY Young season and the upside the 29-year old carries. In his video, Bauer mentioned he views the money he’d earn through a different lens than most might think.

"“It would be kind of disingenuous for me to sit here and talk about what’s important to me without mentioning money,” Bauer said. “It allows me to launch business ventures I’m building that can help grow the baseball industry.”"

The Angels are currently projected to have the fourth-highest payroll heading into the 2021 season. If they were to sign Bauer to a contract of around $30-$40 million per year, they would just pass the Dodgers at No. 1 on the projected payroll list.

The good news is the payroll will drastically shrink in the next two seasons. Pujols’ $30 million for next season will be off the books and Justin Upton’s current deal (two-years $51 million) will expire after the 2022 season. Trout and Rendon are locked in for the long haul, but they aren’t getting any younger.

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The Angels will have to decide whether or not they believe spending the money on Bauer right now is worth it, or should they wait until they have more flexibility and go after free agents down the road. These are some big decisions ahead for new GM Perry Minasian.