In theory, a perfect option will be available in free agency for the Oakland A’s in the next few days.
Just imagine a true top of the rotation arm, someone capable of dominating the opposition on any given night. Now imagine that player would be available for the league minimum, looking for any opportunity with a major league franchise. It would seemingly make sense for the A’s to sign that player. The problem is that the player described is Trevor Bauer.
Trevor Bauer just not a fit for Oakland A’s
Bauer has emerged as an ace over the last four seasons that he played. He has posted a 3.07 ERA and a 1.095 WHiP in his 569 innings, striking out 711 batters with 193 walks. There is no question that he could help a team move up the standings.
But there is more to Bauer than his ability on the mound. He had been suspended for a record 194 games for violating the league’s domestic abuse policy, a record number that was actually reduced upon appeal. Bauer may be a top of the rotation arm and someone that could make a difference, but there is the public relations aspect as well.
That potential PR disaster should make Bauer a non starter for the A’s. Ownership already saw the fans revolt after they slashed payroll while doubling ticket prices as they looked to improve their profit margins. Adding Bauer could push the A’s to 70 wins in 2023, but he would be a potential nightmare for a fanbase that has already had enough.
Maybe it would be different if the A’s were still contending. Maybe ownership and the front office could justify bringing Bauer on board if they were looking to reach the postseason, saying that he could be the missing piece. It would be a tough sell, but it is one that could make sense. Now? There is no reason to bring Bauer on board.
Trevor Bauer is the type of pitcher that the Oakland A’s would need at a cost that fits their budget. His baggage makes him not worth the effort.