Indians starter Trevor Bauer is coming off an excellent 2018. If not for injury costing him roughly six starts, he might well have won the AL Cy Young Award. He finished 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA, 2.44 FIP, 1.09 WHIP and 221 strikeouts in 175 1/3 innings. He likes a lot of other stats, too, as can be seen in our post on . He finished sixth.
He's never been shy and, in fact, he's outwardly outspoken, especially on Twitter.
Thursday, Bauer had quite the day between his appearance on MLB Network and his posts on Twitter. Let's start with the on-camera stuff. Bauer joined MLB Network Hot Stove for more 13 minutes. If you want to watch in full, have at it:
If you don't want to, here are some highlights:
- At the 7:30 mark, Bauer discusses how he wants to accept a bunch of one-year deals in free agency:
"One of the biggest things I want to do is gonna change the way the game thinks about player development and thinks about tracking players and health and training and stuff like that. That's actually one of the reasons I want to sign one-year contracts, because it lands me on a bunch of different teams so I can kind of spread that knowledge to multiple different organizations, a bunch of different players, spring training with all the minor league guys and all the guys you play with during the season. That's one of the many reasons I want to do a one-year contract deal. That's something I'm super passionate about."
- Around the 9:45 mark, Bauer is asked about the
"Ultimately, I just think the surplus value on me this year is way too high. Even with the arbitration raise you're probably talking about $15-$20M in surplus value. Of the starters they were talking about trading -- [Corey] Kluber, [Carlos] Carrasco and me -- I think all of us bring a tremendous return." this offseason (reports have indicated the Indians would like to shed payroll).
- Bauer goes on to mention that when his salary gets up in the $20 million range in 2020, then his surplus value isn't nearly as much. He said they mostly likely wouldn't re-sign him in free agency, so it would make more sense for them to trade him next offseason as opposed to this offseason.
OK, so that's a player with incredible confidence and grasp of how the money game works in baseball. Maybe we've got a future GM on our hands here.
What Bauer is discussing here is how front offices view players. A player reaches a certain amount of production compared to his salary. If he produces more value than he makes, that's the surplus value Bauer discusses. He made $6.25 million last season and was worth a lot more than that, no matter how you figure it.
For this season, MLB Trade Rumors forecasts that Bauer will make $11.6 million in arbitration, so Bauer is saying he'll pitch like someone who makes at least $26.6 million this season and maybe more. If that's the case, it would be stupid for the Indians to trade him and incredibly smart for an outside organization to try and acquire him.
Remember, he's not shy.
He wasn't done for the day, as he hurled some pretty big tweets. Such as ... he was better than Kluber in 2018:
Plot twist, I was better than Kluber this year— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) November 29, 2018
Bauer had Kluber in fWAR, ERA, FIP, K%, K/9 and a host of other stats. People were shocked that Bauer would straight up say he was better than a teammate who has won two Cy Youngs (and finished third in this year's voting), though. Someone even pointed out Bauer wasn't available to start in the playoffs while Kluber was, and Bauer corrected with what looks like a shot at manager Terry Francona:
I was available to start. I don’t make the lineup card.— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) November 29, 2018
Also, he works harder than everyone -- in terms of the hours he puts in -- and has the spreadsheet to prove it:
Can’t wait to put out my spreadsheet data at the end of the off season and ask them who else put in more hours devoted to getting better than I did. The answer is nobody. It’ll be fun lol— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) November 29, 2018
There's a lot more good stuff in there, for those so inclined to scroll through. He's a character. Hey, MLB could always use more of those, right? We can't want players to be more open and then get mad when we find one who is an open book. You do you, Trevor.