A lot of teams, probably including the Mets, are going to be pursuing free-agent pitcher Yoshinobo Yamamoto, who starred in the Nippon League this season. However there is another star pitcher to consider signing who did well in Japan this year, and that would be a more controversial personality, Trevor Bauer.

We’ll start off looking at his pitching resume, then we will get into the off-field issues. Bauer was a stud this past season pitching for Yokahoma with an 11-6 record over a 156 IP season, with a 2.59 ERA and a WHIP figure of 1.13. He did not pitch anywhere in 2022 due to his suspension.

In 2021 with the Dodgers, he was 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA and a sparkling WHIP figure of 1.003. In 2020 he pitched for Cincinnati and he was dominant, with a 1.73 ERA and a microscopic WHIP of 0.795 in that Covid-shortened season. His great record that year resulted in a Cy Young award for him. The 32 year-old has a lifetime MLB ERA of 3.79, with a 1.243 WHIP.

Now, as to the suspension cited above, that was due to an alleged domestic-violence violation. A 29 year old San Diego resident named Lindsey Hill said that in 2021 she and Bauer had a sexual dalliance that she claimed resulted in bodily damage that included a skull fracture, bruising, a bloody lip and black eyes. She took a photo that showed the black eyes and the bloody lip. However, the police department investigated and no charges were filed against Bauer. Bauer was slapped with a 194-game suspension by MLB, which resulted in him not playing the last part of the 2021 season and all of 2022.

In his defense, Bauer released texts exchanged between the two of them and also a video. The video was taken by Hill herself the morning of the incident, and shows her leaving while Bauer is asleep in his bed, with no visible sign of the kind of injuries she claimed or any sign of distress. Investigation by electronic means showed the video was taken just minutes before Hill left Bauer’s house.

Although there were no criminal charges filed, each party did file lawsuits against each other, Bauer claiming defamation and Hill claiming injuries. Earlier this month, the parties dropped their lawsuits with no money changing hands. This was significant, as texts released showed Hill believed Bauer had a net worth around 51 million dollars, while a website called Sportskeeda estimated Hill had a net worth of $200,000. So, monetarily, Bauer had a lot to lose and Hill very little. The reasonable conclusion that could be drawn is Hill realized she had no chance of winning the case.

In the past the Mets have signed players who conceded they had committed domestic violence and suffered penalties for it. I am specifically referring to Jeurys Familia and Jose Reyes. If they can do that surely, they can sign a player such as Bauer, who it appears is more of a victim than a perpetrator.

There have been allegations that Bauer is not popular in the clubhouse. Apparently, he is self-centered with an eccentric personality. But then, Tommy Pham had a reputation as a clubhouse problem and thrived with the Mets. I wouldn’t be surprised if many players admire the stance Bauer took in not caving in to the allegations and just paying off the accuser. I suspect there are a few players out there in the majors who have had trouble with gold-diggers and could identify with Bauer not giving in.

Some say that Bauer was the beneficiary, as many pitchers were, of using “sticky stuff” to improve their spin rates. However, during the 2021 season harder enforcement by MLB was placed on using the sticky stuff, and Bauer pitched just fine despite the crackdown.

Because of his baggage, Bauer will not command a huge contract. It is possible the Mets could sign him to a two-to-three-year, incentive-heavy package. The Mets need additional starting pitching, and Bauer could be one option that would not break the bank. A 2024 starting rotation of Kodai Senga, Jose Quintana, Bauer, Yamamoto, and either Tylor Megill or Joey Lucchesi would look formidable.

Bauer is certainly no choir boy, but he has already paid a high price in the long suspension he served. If we truly believe that a man is innocent until proven guilty, then the Mets should at least look into signing Bauer.

12 comments on “A pitcher from Japanese baseball to consider, besides Yoshinobo Yamamoto

  • James T OBrien

    I suggested the Mets sign him earlier this past season. Thanks for this, John. I hadn’t seen anything about how the case ended.

  • Footballhead

    Here’s a man who (in the words of comedian Bill Burr), was screwed over by a gold digging whore. Of course, in today’s “woke” culture, Bauer was guilty no matter what the (eventual) evidence would show.
    So yes, get him a contract to pitch for us.

  • Metsense

    He is a cancer. He took the ball from Terry Francona and heaved it into the stands in the Outfield when he was took out of a game. There are also numerous baseball incidents that I didn’t look up again when this conversation was brought up a few years back. Signing Bauer is like selling your soul to the devil.

  • BoomBoom

    I just don’t think the Mets need any more controversy right now, innocent or not. If money is no object, and we know it isn’t, I’d rather spend more for Yamamoto and Jordan Montgomery, and let Luchessi, Megill, Peterson, Butto and Vasil battle it out for the 5th spot. Or better yet trade for a yr of Corbin Burnes.

  • Mike W

    Here’s the deal. Bauer, “in my opinion” is a pig. I wouldn’t sign him, if he was for free. He is bizarre and has a truck full of baggage. Don’t want him on the Mets. Would Cohen want his money spent on this guy? I doubt it. Let’s find another pitcher.

  • AgingBull

    Hard pass. In addition to being a cancer and pig, he’s a diva. His stellar seasons are suspect due to the sticky stuff.

  • T.J.

    Given his situation, if Bauer ever does resume a major resume a major league career, NYC would not be the place to do it.

  • Brian Joura

    I’d offer him a minimum wage deal. Absolutely no incentives. You want to return to MLB – here’s your opportunity to do that. And once you do that, once you prove that you can behave like a normal person and not antagonize your teammates, your manager and the fans – then maybe something else.

    Minimum wage with two team options for $15 million.

    Hey, Cohen said he wanted to be opportunistic. Here’s a chance to get a top SP for a bargain rate. If that’s not opportunistic – what is?

    I have no problem with anyone who claims it’s just too much baggage. It definitely is baggage but I guess I don’t expect the team to be made up of choir boys. You set expectations and if those expectations aren’t met, you kick him to the curb.

  • NYM6986

    Certainly was easy to forget about Bauer and lose track of where he might be. He does have a bit of an edge to him. And whiles there’s always an ounce of truth in all stories, no charges were brought. So was a 194 game suspension appropriate or an over reaction due to the unacceptable allegation of domestic abuse? I’d give him a shot but remember that he’s also on the wrong side of 30 and we are trying to make the team younger.

  • Dan Capwell

    Carlos Beltran hired and fired because of the Astros cheating scandal. “Dick Pic Mick” Calloway. Jared Porter hired and fired due to sexual harassment allegations. Zach Scott charged with a DWI but gets off because he wasn’t observed driving drunk. Fired. Now, Billy Eppler resigns just ahead of this IL manipulation “scandal” which probably would have resulted in his termination as well.

    And, that’s just in the last five years. “LOLMets” is a well-earned (and deserved) albatross hung on our beleaguered team.

    Stay away from Bauer—at least initially. Yes, he was a victim of a lynch mob, headed by the Comish. But that aside, he has shown a proclivity for slimy behavior. Don’t forget, the Mets thought they had a deal with him, until his camp did an about face and he signed with LA.

    Let some small-market team take a flier on him. As Brian suggests, they can give him a “make-good” deal. Then, when the trade deadline rolls around, and he has had some time to face the media music, and hopefully has been on good behavior, and the Mets are back being contenders, and Bauer’s team isn’t, then you can consider giving up some prospect capital for him.

    Editor’s Note – Please do not capitalize words in your post, as that is a violation of our Comment Policy.

  • Greg Nelson

    But Bauer was found “guilty.” After thorough investigations involving multiple women, MLB and the impartial arbitration panel that included a representative of his union found that he violated the league’s policy. If clubhouse chemistry is important to any team, Bauer isn’t going to help it. He has another trial scheduled for February that will provide a distraction.

    • Phil

      Is the February trial you referred to the Lindsay Hill case or a separate one? The Hill case was settled without any compensation exchanged.

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