Bauer to the ‘Burgh : My official pitch for Trevor Bauer to sign with the Pirates
By Ryan Simpson
In the latest episode of Trevor Bauer’s offseason blog, which every baseball fan should be watching, Bauer and his agent Rachel Luba talked about the MLB offseason. Bauer proposed several different ways that the MLB could “spice up” the offseason to be on par with the NBA’s. Agent Luba talks about the recent player grievances against teams for refusing to spend money on free agents. Recently players like Craig Kimbrel, Dallas Keuchel and Yasiel Puig missed large portions of the seasons due to “lack of interest from teams” a.k.a teams do not want to fork out the money. Luba said it best here “free agency where teams will not spend and you are just waiting and waiting…I think they need to spend” (YouTube).
This is a very relatable stance for Pittsburgh Pirates fans as the biggest issue that fans have with management is that the team does not spend money. Let’s take a look at the Pirates payroll in two different ways over the last ten years. First, we have the dollar amount that the Pirates were spending; $99 million sounds like a lot of money right? Well, let’s look at how these payrolls rank in the overall MLB payroll system.
The Pirates started and ended this decade with the lowest payrolls in the MLB. The three years the Pirates made the playoffs, they were still ranked very low overall which proves that you can win without spent a bunch of money. Hell, look at the Tampa Bay Rays they have the same salaries issues as the Pirates but produce a winning team. It’s all about how you allocate that money.
Which leads me to why I am writing this article. I am going to make my pitch for the Pirates to sign Trevor Bauer. The Pirates have never been a team to spend money in free agency. Over the past decade, they have signed players like Francisco Liriano, Ivan Nova, and most notably Russell Martin. The team did go after international star Jung-Ho Kang, but they did not end well for either party. I’m officially calling this campaign “Bauer to the ‘Burgh” and if Agent Rachel Luba or Trevor Bauer sees this article, hear me out.
- Trevor already loves PNC Park and Pittsburgh loves him
In episode 18 of “Trevor Bauer’s COVID Season” vlog, the Reds were in town for a series against the Pirates. Bauer was walking to the park and was recognized by several Pittsburghers to the surprise of Bauer. Once finally in the park, he deemed that PNC Park has “probably the best view in baseball from the concourse…just beautiful.” Pittsburgh is a baseball city, just look at the 2013 Wild Card game and TRY to tell me differently. The city already loves Bauer and he loves the ballpark, good start in my eyes.
2. Bauer can be the new face of baseball in Pittsburgh
The Pirates are having a bit of an identity crisis right now. Josh Bell had a monstrous slump in 2020, Jameson Taillon was out of action as he was still recovering from Tommy John and top prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes was called up too late in the year for most casual Pirate fan to care about him. If Trevor Bauer were to come to Pittsburgh, baseball would start to matter again. Diving a layer deeper, Bauer would be working with Jacob Stallings who lost to Bauer’s old battery-mate Tucker Barnhart for a gold glove. Bauer would be in a rotation with Taillon, Joe Musgrove, Mitch Keller, and Chad Kuhl. The entire rotation would be 30 years old or younger and have the potential to be a top rotation in baseball. Yeah, I said it. Tallion and Musgrove have shown streaks while Kuhl and Keller are just waiting to have breakout seasons.
3. Cherington is ‘built different’ than Neal Huntington
Circling back to the start of this article, the Pirates are not one to spend money in free agency. That was the old regime of the Pirates front office. Fans no longer have to watch Neal Huntington sit on his hands and not even offer big name players contracts. Now we have Ben Cherington at the helm; the same guy who signed Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez to mega-deals in Boston. The deals did not go as planned, but the point is that the players put pen to paper. Cherington has the skills to sign big free agents and how big of a splash would it be for Cherington to land Bauer.
There is my pitch for Trevor Bauer to come to the Pirates. Bauer could single-handedly help turn the Pirates franchise around. Come in, hit a few McGregor struts on old teammates, win another Cy Young or two and bring excitement back to a city who used to love baseball.