Trevor Bauer might well win the National League’s Cy Young Award for the 2020 season. He was simply that dominant for the Cincinnati Reds during this shortened, awkward season, and he’s set to enter free agency as the single best pitcher on the market.
So, it was a no-brainer that the Reds would issue a Qualifying Offer to Bauer, effectively a 1-year, $18.9 contract offer that Bauer will most certainly decline. MLB Pipeline relayed that news as part of their breakdown of the other MLB players who received one this year.
6 free agents received an $18.9 million qualifying offer:— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) November 1, 2020
Trevor Bauer, Reds
Kevin Gausman, Giants
DJ LeMahieu, Yankees
JT Realmuto, Phillies
George Springer, Astros
Marcus Stroman, Mets
Here's a look at the potential Draft compensation for each team: https://t.co/khVKL8KhEf pic.twitter.com/IPVb0eoTuf
What happens next for the Reds is hard to pinpoint exactly, as that will depend on a) Bauer declining it (which is almost as much of a no-brainer as the extension of it in the first place, even with the financial uncertainty surrounding the league) and b) exactly how much guaranteed money Bauer eventually signs for, should that not come from the Reds. The Reds would be in line to receive draft pick compensation should Bauer sign elsewhere - between Round 1 and the first Competitive Balance Round should it exceed $50 million, or a round later should it be less.