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Starting pitcher Trevor Bauer signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers for three years and $102 million on Friday.
This contract allows him to opt out after each season.
In 2021, Trevor Bauer will earn $40 million, which is a Major League Baseball record for the highest annual salary. Additionally, if he doesn’t opt out, he will break his own record by making $45 million in 2022. His 2023 salary would only be $17 million, so in all likelihood, he will opt out after two years.
This signing concludes one of the most interesting free agent experiences in MLB memory. Following his Cy Young winning season with the Cincinnati Reds, Bauer brought fans along his free agency journey via Twitter and YouTube. Bauer teased many fanbases, causing fans to became invested in trying to convince him to join their team.
He gained many fans in the process — even if he disappointed fans of 29 fan bases in the end. Bauer certainly turned the long slug of MLB free agency into a fascinating experience for his followers.
This signing cements the Dodgers as preseason favorites to win the World Series again. Bauer joins Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, David Price, and either Julio Urias, Tony Gonsolin, or Dustin May on a dominant starting rotation. Urias and May both have experience pitching out of the bullpen, so it is most likely that Gonsolin takes the fifth spot.
The Dodgers haven’t yet resigned third baseman Justin Turner and have lost outfielder Joc Pederson to the Chicago Cubs in free agency. Their lineup might regress some; however, a team with Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, and Max Muncy will produce plenty of runs. The Dodgers are certainly built to defend their World Series crown in 2021.