Star free agent Bauer says he’s joining Dodgers

Trevor Bauer, the 2020 National League Cy Young Award winner, has agreed to join the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Bauer, a California native, announced his move in a video posted to YouTube.

The 30-year-old right-hander is the first reigning Cy Young Award winner to have entered free agency since Greg Maddux in 1992.

Bauer, a first-time free agent who played last season for the Cincinnati Reds on a $17 million deal that was prorated to $6.4 million, was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball in 2020, going 5-4 with a 1.73 ERA, a 0.79 WHIP, 100 strikeouts and 17 walks during the pandemic-shortened season. Opposing batters hit .159 against him, which led all major league pitchers. In addition to WHIP and ERA, Bauer led the NL in ERA-plus, which adjusts for his hitter-friendly home ballpark, and hits allowed per nine innings (5.055) in 2020.

He rejected a one-year, $18.9 million qualifying offer from the Reds, who will get a compensatory draft pick with him signing with a new team.

Bauer’s arsenal includes a variety of pitches, and he found great success with his cut fastball while throwing an NL-high two complete-game shutouts last season. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Bauer set up batters to knock them out on the outer half of the plate, leading the NL with 63 strikeouts while holding hitters to a .145 batting average in that location.

Off the mound, Bauer has voiced opinions and criticism on everything from commissioner Rob Manfred to MLB-MLBPA negotiations to insinuating that Houston Astros pitchers were applying substances to baseballs to increase spin rate. In 2018, Bauer was fined for throwing a baseball from the mound over the center-field fence before being removed from a game. In 2016, he was scratched from Game 2 of the American League Championship Series after he sliced the tip of his finger while doing maintenance on his drone.

The Reds acquired Bauer in a trade with the Cleveland Indians at the deadline in July 2019. He made 10 starts after the deal that year, going 2-5 with a 6.39 ERA for the Reds.

In nine seasons since he broke into the majors with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2012, Bauer is 75-64 with 1,279 strikeouts and a 3.90 ERA. His only All-Star selection came in 2018.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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