It’s almost as if Mike Francesa laid a trap for Trevor Bauer to unwittingly prove that the New York Yankees should stay away.
Trading for a starter midseason has become a ritual for the New York Yankees. It was J.A. Happ last year and Sonny Gray the year before that.
This year, Trevor Bauer’s name has been floated in Yankee rumors. It’s still unclear how serious the Yanks’ interest is in Bauer. Furthermore, the Cleveland Indians are only two games behind the first-place Minnesota Twins. There’s no guarantee they deal Bauer to the Yankees or anyone for that matter.
However, not everyone in New York is on board with the idea of trading for Bauer. Most notably, WFAN’s Mike Francesa is vehemently against it.
“I’m afraid of Bauer… I’m afraid of him in New York,” interrupted Francesa. “A guy like that who says a lot of crazy things I just don’t think he’s a comfortable fit in our town. I just think there are some guys who are gonna come in here and have a problem. I think he could easily be one of them.”
Bauer is an outspoken player so questioning the fit is understandable. It would be ridiculous not to at least acknowledge the potential for disaster.
However, Francesa took the criticism one step further with a separate caller, calling Bauer a “nutcase” and a “fool.” Bauer responded to the video of Francesa and, in a pure moment of “I’m not mad I’m actually laughing,” he proved Francesa’s entire point.
Lol nice…tag me in this looking to start drama and I’m the headcase and nutjob and whatever else is said in this video? That’s hilarious! Traditional media for you…this is why it’s dying. I do love the logo in the background tho! If only he looked like that in real life! 🤔😂 https://t.co/ZIBUgqI1pN
— Trevor Bauer (トレバー・バウアー) (@BauerOutage) July 26, 2019
As easy as is it would be to scold Bauer for responding, that’s not the point here. His edge is part of what makes him great. But as Francesa said, that might work in Cleveland, but New York is a different story.
Although gut instinct says Bauer and New York would be a trainwreck waiting to happen, there’s potential for a smooth ride on the D line. And as any New York sports fan knows, Francesa is prone to being wrong from time to time.
If nothing else, Bauer is an innings eater. As of July 26, he’s leading all of baseball with 152.1 innings pitched. His 3.49 ERA is respectable, but his 4.18 FIP would indicate that he’s had a little bit of luck on his side. That being said, 2018 may have been the best season of his career. He posted a 2.21 ERA and a league-leading 2.44 FIP.
There are a few reasons for Bauer’s regression this season. His walk percentage is up slightly and his strikeout percentage is down slightly. But the long ball has been Bauer’s true kryptonite in 2019. After allowing nine home runs in 175.1 innings in 2018, he’s already allowed 22 thus far in 2019. That’s a scary proposition in Yankee Stadium.
Now the question remains: Is Bauer worth the risk? They will have him under control through 2020, but will the marriage last that long?
If Mike Francesa is already getting under his skin (in 2019!!!), then he’s already off to a bad start. This isn’t 1998, sheesh.
But still, the question with Bauer is whether or not he can handle the bright lights, big city. Clearly, responding to social media is par for the course.
Just this past offseason, Bauer ended up in a bizarre Twitter battle with an Alex Bregman fan after an innocuous exchange between the two players. It ended with Bauer vowing to use his platform more responsibly in the future. When asked about the social media feud by a reporter, he bolted for the nearest exit.
Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer took two questions at Indians availability. Took off after the social media spat was brought up pic.twitter.com/T5ASuZyeUO
— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) January 11, 2019
We all understand that players want to talk about the game and only the game. But this seemed like a moment where Bauer could have taken the high road and answered a few questions.
That won’t fly in New York. Moreover, that won’t fly with the Yankees. Bauer would make resident “bad boy” Clint Frazier look like an altar boy by comparison.
Obviously, at the end of the day, the product on the field is what matters more than anything else to the organization. If general manager Brian Cashman believes Bauer will help them win the World Series, he’ll scoop him up.
But we all know life is not that simple. Bauer’s volatility could lead the Yankees to look to other avenues like Marcus Stroman of the Toronto Blue Jays or, dare I say it, Noah Syndergaard from the crosstown New York Mets.
That’s not to say that the Yankees will land any of these guys. The point is that Cashman has a few options to aggressively pursue if he’s truly hellbent on acquiring a frontline starter.
Bauer in pinstripes has the potential for disaster and if the marriage does happen, the rehearsal dinner hasn’t been great.