2. Phillies sign Trevor Bauer.
The Phillies seem to be in the market for another starting pitcher this offseason, essentially to replace now-free-agent veteran Jake Arrieta. The club reportedly had recent interest in long-time Miami Marlins starter Jose Urena, who instead signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Tigers for around $3 million.
You cannot find a larger talent gap between free-agents than that of Urena and Trevor Bauer — considered one of the highly coveted available players in the market this offseason alongside catcher J.T. Realmuto.
The 2020 National League Cy Young Award winner will be coming off of a career year when debuting for whichever team signs him this offseason. This past season, while Bauer put together just a 5-4 win-loss record with the Cincinnati Reds, he led the National League in ERA (1.73) and WHIP (0.795), as well as all of Major League Baseball in complete game shutouts (2) and H9 (5.1).
Bauer immediately would rank atop the Phillies rotation, even ahead of Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler. Signing the nine-year veteran would transform the rotation and bring it to somewhat of a resemblance of the “R2C2” days of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Roy Oswalt.
While it may be unrealistic that the Phillies outbid other teams to sign the California native, there is a connection between him and the team’s new pitching coach, also formerly of the Reds, Caleb Cotham. This offseason, Bauer told Cincinnati.com that Cotham was “really helpful” in helping him work out throwing mechanics and that “it was good to have someone to bounce those ideas off of and have those conversations.”