Despite rumors, the Houston Astros will not pursue Trevor Bauer this offseason.
Despite never having played for the team, Trevor Bauer will be inextricably linked to the Houston Astros for quite some time. But that relationship will always be kept at arm’s length. While the impending free agent noted that he would consider offers from all teams, including the Astros, it doesn’t change the fact that Bauer will never pitch in a Houston uniform.
That’s not to say Bauer wouldn’t help this team on the field. The right-hander, who’ll turn 30 in January, is a strong contender for the NL Cy Young Award after pitching to a 1.73 ERA in 11 starts for the Reds this year. He’s in line to get paid handsomely this winter, but that money won’t be coming from the Astros.
For one, the team simply doesn’t need him. They have five pitchers who’ve earned spots in next year’s rotation — Zack Greinke, Lance McCullers, Framber Valdez, Jose Urquidy and Cristian Javier. Even with Justin Verlander injured, they don’t need an impact addition. They simply need to sign a couple players for depth purposes and spend their money on the offense and the bullpen.
But Yeah, It’s Personal
Of course the Astros wouldn’t pursue Bauer even if they needed a pitcher of his caliber. The animosity started back in 2018 when Bauer accused Houston pitchers of doctoring baseballs to improve their spin rates. Interestingly enough, a great deal of his success in 2020 is due to him doing just that.
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He’s gotten in Twitter spats with McCullers and Alex Bregman, so he wouldn’t exactly be welcome in the clubhouse. He’s taken every opportunity to troll the Astros regarding the sign stealing scandal, often bringing up the subject unprompted, and has been vocal about his feelings toward the franchise. He’s petty and outspoken and clearly doesn’t care what people think about him.
Bauer’s also a known Lothario who’s simply not a good guy. He has a history of harassing women and just being an all-around jerk. Even though he and his sticky fingers are good at throwing a baseball, this simply isn’t the person we want as part of this team. Yes, the Astros do have Roberto Osuna, but at least he’s kept quiet since Jeff Luhnow made the ill-advised trade to pick him up.
The Astros may have cheated three years ago (as did many other teams), but we can still root for these players and not feel like we’re selling our souls. Bauer is a cancer, and the idea of signing him feels akin to getting into business with the mafia — you may profit, but you’ll feel dirty about it. Some other team is more than welcome to pay him and his loud mouth to bring unwanted attention on their clubhouse.