Trevor Bauer Might Be Mets Fifth Starter
When looking to sign a player, the first question is whether that player would improve the team. Clearly, Trevor Bauer clears that hurdle.
The next is whether that player is a worthwhile investment. That’s where it gets complicated for Bauer.
Bauer is noted to want to pitch every fourth day, and he purportedly is seeking $30+ million. Putting aside, the Mets logjam trying to extend players, the Mets have to justify making Bauer their highest paid player when he’s not that.
Putting aside 2020 for a moment, here’s how Bauer would stack against a fully healthy Mets rotation from 2016 – 2019:
- Jacob deGrom 151 ERA+
- Carlos Carrasco 126 ERA+
- Noah Syndergaard 119 ERA+
- Trevor Bauer 119 ERA+
- Marcus Stroman 113 ERA+
- deGrom 2.82 FIP
- Syndergaard 2.83 FIP
- Carrasco 3.37 FIP
- Bauer 3.70 FIP
- Stroman 3.80 FIP
Looking at it, Bauer is clearly fourth. However, when you compare the relative levels of competition, Stroman has put up his numbers against VASTLY superior competition.
Taking that into account, when Syndergaard returns, that makes Bauer the fifth starter on this Mets team. Yes, he’d be by far the best fifth starter in the league, but a fifth starter nevertheless.
Now, Bauer did have a great 2020. However, it should be noted that came in a shortened season against absolutely dreadful competition. Moreover, Bauer, himself, put into question just how he was able to accomplish it.
If you’re the Mets, how can you possibly sign a pitcher to the highest contract when he’s likely going to be your fifth best starting pitcher? While a team could do whatever they want, this would seem like a mismanagement of resources.
No, the Mets should be better allocating those resources to positions of need like third, center, and the bullpen. They should be looking to extend their players including Stroman and Syndergaard. They should be letting another team roll the dice with Bauer.
The Mets have four pitchers better than Bauer. They should let that quartet led them in 2021 and hopefully well beyond that.