When the Cincinnati Reds traded away top prospect Taylor Trammell and outfielder Yasiel Puig in the summer of 2019, they did so in hopes that their return would pay off down the road, obviously. Said return was Cleveland ace Trevor Bauer, who came to the Reds in a three-team blockbuster that didn’t make a ton of immediate sense at the time for a Reds club buried in the standings.
The Reds wanted Bauer for their 2020 push, though, and in his final year before reaching free agency, they got exactly what they’d hoped to get. His brilliant 276 ERA+, 1.73 ERA, and 0.795 WHIP were the best marks in the National League, and he was rewarded for such a brilliant campaign on Wednesday by being named the 2020 Cy Young Award winner for the National League.
The results were announced on MLB Network after roughly 37 consecutive hours of hype, as if their statistics from the 2020 season would somehow improve in that time.
Of course, Reds fans will quickly note that this is the first such award won in their franchise’s long history. They’ve had a few near misses - Johnny Cueto and Mario Soto, notably - while also having Bucky Walters win the NL MVP Award before the Cy Young Award existed, but that glaring gap in their trophy case is officially checked off the list with Bauer’s win.
It remains to be seen whether this will be the last note in what’s been a short history between Bauer and the Reds, as the former declined the $18.9 million Qualifying Offer doled out by the former earlier this week, making him a free agent able to sign with any MLB club. The Reds are rumored to still want him around, obviously, but finances appear to be quite tight after a zero-revenue season in 2020. News that one of the Reds relievers is prepping to be a starter in 2021 only further clouds that future, too.
Congrats to Trevor on his award, and to the Reds for getting a great 2020 season out of such a blockbuster deal.