Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

Reds News arrow-downArrow Down icon Arrow Up icon

Inbox: What will it take to re-sign Bauer?

Beat reporter Mark Sheldon answers questions from fans
@m_sheldon
November 23, 2020

Welcome to another edition of the offseason Reds Inbox. Feel free to submit questions any time on Twitter, Facebook or by email. Especially in light of his National League Cy Young Award victory, there are even more questions and speculation about free-agent pitcher Trevor Bauer. Let’s take a look at

Welcome to another edition of the offseason Reds Inbox. Feel free to submit questions any time on Twitter, Facebook or by email. Especially in light of his National League Cy Young Award victory, there are even more questions and speculation about free-agent pitcher Trevor Bauer.

Let’s take a look at one of those and some of your other questions. Thanks for reading.

What do you believe it will take to re-sign Bauer? Does his comfort level with the team and his comments regarding them factor into this equation?
-- Sue P. on Facebook

With the exception of unlimited dollars in the budget, the Reds would seem to check a lot of boxes for Bauer.

A chance to win? Check.

Comfortable in Cincinnati? Check.

Enjoys his teammates and the clubhouse? Check.

One-year contract ability? Check.

But re-signing Bauer doesn’t guarantee a deep postseason run, as 2020 highlighted. They have a good rotation without him and need a bat, especially at shortstop, to take the team to the next level. I could see the Reds offering a one-year, $23-25 million contract so he gets a good raise from last season and a chance to revisit the open market after the ’21 season when -- hopefully -- the economics are more stable.

Latest rumors about Bauer

All of it seems to be a somewhat moving target, though, because Bauer has shown a willingness to listen to any interested club and has backed off a little on his desire to sign only one-year contracts. The Mets, under new ownership, are expected to be major players on the market and have money to spend. The Padres need another starter after losing Bauer’s friend and former Cleveland teammate Mike Clevinger. There are also the Angels and Yankees and -- who knows -- maybe even his favorite Twitter foil, the Astros? It was also a blow for Cincinnati to have lost assistant pitching coach Caleb Cotham, who became pitching coach for the Phillies. Bauer really liked working with Reds pitching coach Derek Johnson and Cotham.

Besides Bauer, do you see the Reds adding a starter this offseason? If so, who are the names to look at?
-- @TeamKaptain08 on Twitter

If Bauer departs, the Reds don’t have to sign another starting pitcher, but they would need to replace his innings and dependability somehow. While Bauer is absolutely a top-tier free agent, there is some quality in the tiers below. Playoff tested veterans like Charlie Morton and Jon Lester come to mind. I could see both as fits to work alongside Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo and the rest of the group.

Debate: Where will Trevor Bauer land in 2021?

Is Jose Garcia the Reds’ full-time shortstop in 2021?
-- @rbmidkiff on Twitter

Probably not. General manager Nick Krall recently indicated that the top offseason priority is to find a veteran shortstop to replace Freddy Galvis. Garcia isn’t out of the picture entirely, however, and he will have a chance to compete for a spot. My expectation is that more time in the Minor Leagues is likely for 2021, and I could see him being more of a regular in ’22.

Which incumbent position player would you speculate is most likely to be traded this offseason?
-- @JYorkie39 on Twitter

You’d have to begin where the depth is, and that is at catcher and in the outfield. Fresh off winning a second NL Gold Glove Award, Tucker Barnhart has a year left on his contract, and Curt Casali is arbitration eligible. But there’s a lot of optimism about prospect Tyler Stephenson, who is ranked No. 96 overall by MLB Pipeline and No. 4 in the organization, and there is a feeling that he would be ready to be in the big leagues full time after a taste in 2020.

Among outfielders, Nick Senzel’s stock has dropped a degree after two injury-filled seasons, but he still should attract some offers. There is also Jesse Winker, who I don’t see going anywhere, and Aristides Aquino, who has no place to play regularly.

Are the Reds comfortable with Mike Moustakas at second base? Do you think they would prefer a scenario where Moose and Joey Votto share first base and designated hitter (assuming there is a DH in 2021)?
-- @TheRichWayne on Twitter

Yes, they’re comfortable with Moustakas at second base, but I do envision him playing some first base when Votto isn’t there. And I wouldn’t assume there will be a DH just yet, based on Krall's comments at the GM Meetings last week.

"Right now, we're operating with the assumption there is no DH,” he said.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook.