Carlos Carrasco Better Option Than Trevor Bauer

When the New York Mets pulled off that surprise blockbuster deal with the Cleveland Indians, they obtained Carlos Carrasco to be a mid-rotation starter. For the Mets, Carrasco is a perfect fit.

The 33 year old pitcher is on an extraordinarily team friendly deal. He’s owed just $12 million per year for each of the next two years with a third year option for $14 million. Historically, he’s outperformed that.

From 2016 – 2018, Carrasco averaged 15 wins a season posting a 3.39 ERA, 1.120 WHIP, 2.1 BB/9, and a 10.1 K/9. He averaged 6+ innings per start.

In terms of advanced stats, he had a 134 ERA+ and a 3.21 FIP. That FIP was the 10th best in baseball meaning he was pitching like a number one starter.

Carrasco struggler in 2019, but that was due in large part to his battling leukemia. Carrasco entered 2020 healthy, and he was great again with a 157 ERA+ and a 3.59 FIP. In essence, he was Carrasco.

Looking at it Carrasco being Carrasco is being a better pitcher than Bauer.

For that same 2016 – 2018 period, Bauer averaged 14 wins per season posting a 3.57 ERA, 1.257 WHIP, 3.1 BB/9, and a 9.7 K/9. He also had a 125 ERA+ and a 3.45 FIP. Basically, across the board, Carrasco was better.

Now, if we shift the three year period to incorporate Bauer’s Cy Young winning 2020, things change a bit.

From 2018 – 2019, Bauer had a 3.18 ERA, 1.116 WHIP, 3.0 BB/9, and an 11.2 K/9. He had a 144 ERA+ and a 3.38 FIP. Across the board, these stats are better than Carrasco, and more to the point, Bauer showed a level in 2020 which Carrasco has never come close to reaching.

It should be noted that Bauer’s 2020 season came against really poor competition, and it was over the course of a 60 game season. Still, it did happen, and Bauer is four years younger.

The question is what is that worth.

With Carrasco, he’s being paid a relatively paltry $12 million per year. According to projections, Bauer is seeking to make north of $20 million more than that.

Yes, the Mets parted with players in the deal to get Carrasco and Francisco Lindor. Looking at that deal, Carrasco was almost treated as a throw-in. Of course, given his ability as a mid to top of rotation pitcher, you can never say he’s a throw-in.

And yet, the deal the Mets made to obtain him and Lindor was such a bargain you could perceive it as such. Taking that into account, Carrasco is a far better option than Bauer.

That goes double when you consider that $20 million difference can be utilized to try to extend Michael Conforto, Lindor, Noah Syndergaard, and Marcus Stroman.

Taking everything into account, Carrasco was a far superior option for the Mets than Bauer. Not only is Carrasco arguably a pitcher who will provide similar production, but he will also do so at a much cheaper price.

Getting Carrasco over Bauer means the Mets have the ability to keep their core as well as add to this team. Every way you break it down, obtaining Carrasco was a stroke of genius and a far, far better move than signing Bauer.

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