A friendly challenge has been issued by Trevor Bauer and our buddy Yasiel Puig. What is the challenge? Trevor has challenged him to a “Throw Off”. Puig, not one to back away has accepted the challenge with a “tell me when and where.”
The two crossed paths a few years back as Puig was traded away to the Reds for Bauer but they didn’t get a chance to play on the same team. The players now share a common sports agent, Rachel Luba of Luba Sports. It is alleged that they may have crossed paths sometime online or one found out about the other via a quick online research. Yasiel Puig took the 2020 season off. He had originally signed with the Braves and then Puig tested positive for COVID 19 and they rescinded their offer. Puig was left without a team and sat out the entire season. I am not sure if it was by choice or if it was because he couldn’t find a team to take him after the Braves backed away. Most likely, he took the season off like David Price.
Trevor Bauer just won the National League Cy Young award and he is currently seeking employment and has Luba Sports representing him. Yasiel has contacted Luba Sports and has negotiated a deal for them to represent him. Apparently there are a few teams interested in signing Yasiel Puig. Writer Mark Feinsand mentioned that the Astros, Red Sox, and Orioles have already shown interest.
Trevor Bauer is currently the most expensive player available on the market. He will command a big payday. Trevor just won the Cy Young award and surely he will use that as leverage to get a fat paycheck. My crystal ball tells me that he might be a Cub by the time the season starts. He might just land a big 6 year deal with the new President of Baseball Operations, Jed Hoyer, looking to make a splash in his first year. Another option for Bauer is the New York Mets because they just got a new owner, they got to free up Cano’s 20 plus million contract for 2021 with his PED suspension. They would solidify their rotation. With Bauer, the Mets become contenders against the Braves in the NL East. The 2020 pandemic season, will make it difficult for Bauer to find a max deal going forward because many teams took a hard economic hit this year. In 2020, Trevor Bauer made 17.5 Million for a one year contract. He will certainly make more than this in 2021 as an unrestricted free agent. It almost sounds like teams would hide behind the curtains when Bauer comes knocking on their doors. “Shh! Everyone keep it down, don’t make any noise, the guy looking for a huge contract is at the door. Don’t make any noise. Let’s see if he goes away.” Yeah, I am sure there are more teams looking to downsize as opposed to increasing their payroll. There will be a few teams who want him and whoever does go after him, will have limited competition so this might hurt his bottom line. He may even be better off signing a one year deal again and negotiate the big pay day at the end of 2021 when everything is hopefully back to business as usual. But he is 29, on the verge of turning 30. Perhaps he will also be pursued by the young Braves team and the Padres who could both need help with pitching. Surely a Cy Young pitcher like Bauer will strengthen those teams World Series hopes. If they plan on going further in the playoffs, Bauer is a great option.
Yasiel Puig on the other hand will help any team compete immediately. Puig is only 29 years old. In 2019 he earned 9.7 Million dollars. In 2020, he did not play. Will this hurt Puig’s chances of earning a bigger pay day? Will he sign a 1 year deal and look for a bigger contract in 2022? Puig should be able to command equal or higher pay. He has a career WAR of 18.9. He has a career batting average of .277 and an on base percentage of .348. He has hit 132 home runs with 415 runs batted in. He has 6 years of playoff experience and plays a stellar defense. He is an exciting player to watch. My crystal ball says that he will have a successful bounce back season after being off for a whole year. He will play with a lot of hunger. I believe that Puig can be signed to a contract for 11 million or less for one year. There are many teams who could benefit from having a player like Puig. I can easily see him going to the Cubs, the Padres, or…wait for it… the Giants. “AAAAHHHHH!” I would personally love to have him back as a Dodger but the outfield is stacked. The only way this becomes an option is if AJ Pollock gets traded. However, the reason this doesn’t happen is because Puig is an everyday player and he knows that he has a better chance anywhere else of being that everyday player. So I do not see that reunion happening this offseason. Now think about this: How would Puig have done with the Braves in 2020? Let’s just leave it there for another day.
Even though neither of these 2 players has much of a chance at being signed by the Dodgers, I will say that I am looking forward to watching these two have that throwing competition. It would be nice if they were able to use someone’s stadium where they could have this throwing contest. I know others are licking their chops just thinking about that match. Imagine the marketing potential. Sponsored by this and sponsored by that. Money raised is to go to the Boys and Girls Club of America or something like that. Maybe a live band performing before the competition takes place. Perhaps we can have White Stripe performing “7 Nation Army”. It will all be live streamed on Youtube. I already see it happening in my head. It would be pretty good. But wait a second, let me take this call. “Wait what’s that? You are cancelling because your agent says that you have to take care of your arm?”
“Yeah, I figured it was too good to be true.” My money was on Trevor Bauer for this competition. I once saw him get angry while playing for the Indians and he launched a ball over the center field fence from the mound. Puig is no slouch though. He threw out so many runners from right field with laser accurate throws. It would have been a good match.