Mark Madden: Pirates should make pitch for Trevor Bauer, despite PR nightmare

The Pittsburgh Pirates are at any variety of disadvantages when pursuing free brokers, not least that good gamers produce other decisions and all these choices are higher.

But right-handed pitcher Trevor Bauer is an effective participant who could not have alternate options.

Bauer, 32, is at free ends after being minimize by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was accused of sexual assault with disturbingly violent overtones. Bauer stated what occurred was consensual tough intercourse. Criminal costs have been by no means filed.

Despite not being charged, Bauer was suspended for 324 video games by MLB. It was later diminished to 194 video games on attraction. He can pitch in 2023.

Bauer was launched by the Dodgers on Jan. 12. The group continues to be obliged to pay him $22.5 million for the approaching season. Bauer might signal with any membership for the MLB minimal of $720,000.

It can be a PR nightmare, however the Pirates should attempt to signal Bauer. (Disclaimer: If another group needs Bauer, he’d go there. Because that group can be higher. But there’s presently no discuss Bauer signing wherever. A New York Post article quotes a baseball decision-maker as saying Bauer must pitch for a “group on one other planet.”)

Bauer’s profession has had ups and downs. But he has matured into an absolute technician.

Bauer received the National League Cy Young Award in 2020, the covid-shortened season. He had a 2.59 ERA and a WHIP of 1.003 in 2021. But MLB put Bauer on administrative depart as of July 2 that season. He has not pitched since.

Will Bauer be efficient when he resumes pitching?

Here’s betting he’d be, by far, the Pirates’ finest pitcher. He’d for certain be higher than, say, JT Brubaker.

If Bauer pitches properly, the Pirates might commerce him for prospects on the deadline. (It might be simpler to be Bauer’s second group after his suspension than it is going to be his first.)

The Pirates would take in criticism, certain, particularly in Twitter’s echo chamber. But should Bauer’s profession be over when he was by no means even charged? (Ben Roethlisberger’s wasn’t.)

Would followers cease going to PNC Park in protest? Because it appears many have already stopped going. The Pirates’ common attendance final season was 15,524, fourth-worst in MLB.

Perhaps an opportunity to look at a legit ace pitch would promote tickets. Between Bauer and the return of the extraordinarily widespread Andrew McCutchen, who is aware of how a lot attendance might rise?

A greater group would promote extra tickets, too. If the Pirates have made legit enchancment like their media stooges bleat, a superb yr by Bauer would nearly definitely assist them dodge 100 losses. They would possibly lose lower than 90 video games, perhaps even get close to (gasp) .500.

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This is not flippantly dismissing what Bauer was accused of.

But Bauer wasn’t even charged. Does the woke mob and the court docket of social media get to overrule the judicial system?

Bauer is undoubtedly unusual. He affixes electrodes to his head to “expedite the training curve.” He is obsessive about issues like mechanics and spin price. His athleticism is hardly overwhelming, however he has labored exhausting to overachieve. A 2019 Sports Illustrated profile in contrast him to Sheldon Cooper, the eccentric savant in “The Big Bang Theory.”

Bauer makes use of fact as a bludgeon. Some dislike him for that. He has made bother for himself on social media. He has rallied after being bullied as a child. (Gee, all that sounds acquainted.)

Bauer can be the Pirates’ first legit No. 1 starter since Gerrit Cole left. (Bauer and Cole performed collectively at UCLA and hated one another.)

Many issues might kibosh the pie-in-the-sky thought of ​​Bauer pitching for the Pirates. One is that Bauer would possible see such a rotten group as being beneath him.

But what if there aren’t different choices? Bauer must re-launch someplace. Why not Pittsburgh, nonetheless non permanent?

It’s intriguing. So is Bauer. There would not be a boring second.

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