Instead of wringing their hands over the broken romance with Trevor Bauer when he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, maybe New York Mets fans should consider his decision a blessing in disguise.
He is a quirky character, something of a loose cannon who marches to his own drummer. Equipped with the 2020 National League Cy Young Award after going 5-4 with Cincinnati, he was the shiniest piece in the free agent showcase, And he knew it.
So why not use social media to tantalize potential pursuers? That could be fun.
Bauer engaged enthusiastically in the Facebook-Twitter funhouse and among his playmates were Mets fans, who were willing partners. The pitcher played them in his free agent shopping spree. He kept planting hints that he was on his way to Flushing and the fans, hungry for help for their team, sucked it all up.
Oh, how he looked forward to taking the mound at Citi Field. What a great boss new Mets owner Steve Cohen would be. There was Mets-themed gear advertised on his web site. There was a Mets hat signed by Bauer giveaway. Sign up for the hat giveaway and you would get a 10 percent off coupon at his online store.
Oh, he was coming. You could just feel it. He was hot for the Mets and with Cohen’s bulging wallet, they could certainly afford him.
And the next thing New York fans knew, Bauer was signing a three-year, $102 million contract with the Dodgers. Not bad for a guy who has averaged eight wins a year over nine major league seasons, with a career ERA of 3.90.
Bauer was so embarrassed by the escapade that he felt obliged to apologize for misleading the New York faithful. It was all an honest mistake. He had prepared marketing materials for several teams as he juggled his choice in his head. Someone released the Mets material prematurely. Bauer said he had no intention of trolling the Mets and their fans.
And to make up for the blunder, he will conduct a raffle for tickets when the Mets play the Dodgers, provided fans are permitted in the ballpark during this virus-conscious season. And he will donate $10,000 apiece to four New York charities. With that fancy contract, he can afford the largesse.
There’s one more thing. The Dodgers contract has an opt-out after each of his first two seasons in Los Angeles so we can have all this fun all over again next winter.