Trevor Bauer, a Native of California, Pitched For UCLA
Will Leitch at MLB.COM last week ranked the top ten teams most likely to sign free agent pitcher Trevor Bauer, starting with who else but the Yankees. Exactly one year ago New York went out and signed the most coveted free agent pitcher Garrit Cole, who has been involved with a lasting feud with former college teammate Bauer.
Of course if the Yankees are on the list, you can rest assured that so would their bitter rivals in the Northeast. The Boston Red Sox are second in Leicht's ranking, but it is doubtful if Bauer will be a fit for a team that finished in the basement last year.
Because he enjoyed a Cy Young season with the Reds, the list probably had to include Cincinnati. The organization, as much as Bauer liked pitching for it, probably cannot afford him.
The next two potential buyers seem more likely than the aforementioned quartet, for both clubs have geographical advantages. A native of North Hollywood, California, Bauer might be attracted to sign with the Padres or the Angels.
San Diego probably has the better team, as it is rife with so much young talent that the Padres reached the second round of the playoffs last year. The rotation will lack its ace after Steve Clevinger underwent Tommy John surgery, so Bauer would be an ideal replacement to anchor the staff.
The 2020 Cy Young winner will indeed end up in Southern California, only he will not be in San Diego. His new bosses will be in Los Angeles, where he will finally be the starting pitcher the Angels have needed for the past half decade.
Although manager Joe Madden's club is not as talented as the Padres, the Angels have a much better chance of winning a championship. Both Houston and Oakland, the two clubs which finished ahead of the Angels, are likely to lose several key players to free agency.
Those departures make the American League West wide open, unlike the N. L. West in which the Padres have to battle the defending World Series winning Dodgers. If Bauer wants a legitimate shot at a pennant, his best move is to sign with the Angels.
There is no doubt that the Angels know the talent of Bauer, for they have experienced it first hand. In six career starts against Los Angeles, Bauer has gone 4-0.
Were that sweep not enticing enough to convince the Angels to sign him, then all they need do is look at Bauer's perfection against the dominant team in the division. Bauer is an uncanny 8-0 against the Houston Astros in his career, a clear indication that he could help the Angels dethrone the team that has finished ahead of the Angels for the past half decade.
Thomas Hunt on November 23, 2020:
Love Trevor Bauer, would really like to see him stay with Cincinnati - but the Reds need him more than he needs the Reds. I know that he is supposed to be great friends with Clevinger, so SD could float that as an enticement. But $$$ are the name of the game - it would be interesting to see him in an Angels uniform...just please, not the Yankees!