Trevor Bauer is en route to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the team will pay a heavy price to add the reigning Cy Young Award winner.
According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the official term of Bauer’s deal is three years and $ 102 million, but creative accounting makes reality a little different. Bauer’s deal reportedly includes two opt-outs, effectively making it a one-year contract with two player options.
Bauer’s salary in 2021 will reportedly be a whopping $ 40 million, followed by a $ 45 million salary in 2022 and a $ 17 million salary in 2023. The first two points are the highest Salary in MLB. The structure of the deal makes it likely that this deal will be worth $ 85 million for two years unless Bauer has another elite season in 2021 or suffers a serious injury.
However the contract works, Bauer will be making hard cash next year to the point that he is currently able to outperform an entire team in the next season if nothing changes.
Trevor Bauer is currently doing more than the pirates
Trevor Bauer’s contract gives him many opportunities for the future. And money. So much money. (AP Photo / Aaron Doster)
So $ 40 million. That’s a lot of money. In fact, it does more than the Pittsburgh Pirates to pay every player on their 26-man roster.
Between Gregory Polanco’s guaranteed salary of $ 11.6 million, the pirates’ 10 arbitration salaries (which add up to $ 18.4 million), and 15 players who met the MLB minimum ($ 570,500 apiece, the equates to around $ 8.6 million), the pirates’ total salary for their 26. A man’s salary is currently at an MLB low of $ 38,562,500.
The team’s 26-person payroll for Cot’s Contracts is slightly higher at $ 40.5 million, thanks to cash leftovers from other steps (e.g., Chris Archer’s contract buyout), and the 40-person tax number is the competitive balance even higher, but the fact remains: if the Pittsburgh Pirates take the field as currently built, the 26 players on the active roster will make less money than a right-handed player on the Dodgers.
Bauer’s salary doesn’t just make the pirates look small, who aren’t even trying to look competitive this year. Plus, the Dodgers look even more like the looming Death Star of baseball.
The story goes on
Dodgers have by far the largest payroll in MLB
Right now, here is the Dodgers ’26-person payroll under Cots’ contracts: $ 242,689,000, which is above the competitive tax threshold of $ 210 million.
Not only is this the largest payroll in MLB, it’s more than $ 50 million higher than the runner-up New York Yankees. In fact, the gap between the Dodgers and the Yankees is currently larger than that between the Yankees and the twelfth Chicago Cubs, although those numbers could change over the course of the off-season.
Of course, these numbers are less wild because the Dodgers are breaking new ground than because pretty much all of the biggest baseball teams have started treating the competitive balance sheet tax as a de facto salary cap (crossing the CBT threshold only produces results in a relative small financial penalty, unlike the NBA and MLB).
The Dodgers hadn’t crossed the threshold since the 2017 season, but previously their payrolls had risen to $ 271 million on opening day 2015. Perhaps Bauer’s signing means the Dodgers are ready to spend like they’re making more money than any other crew (they do), but it’s safe to say 2021 should be different.
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