Why The Rays Should Sign Trevor Bauer For The 2023 Season

So far this off-season, the Tampa Bay Rays have done nothing to improve their offense. So when the season ended, with barely a whimper in Cleveland in early October, Rays president Erik Neander said, “I don’t think it’s in us just to stand pat and assume things will get better.”

Rays fans heard that message loud and clear and assumed that the organization would be reasonably aggressive in signing a bat or two to put in the middle of the lineup to bolster the struggling offense.

Instead, the front office has continued to add pitching depth but has done nothing to address the offense.

With Shane McClanahan, Tyler Glasnow, Drew Rasmussen, Zach Eflin, and Jeffrey Springs/Shane Baz, as the projected starters in 2023, on paper, this is one of the best rotations in baseball.

Rays Should Sign Trevor Bauer

With the front office focused on adding pitching depth, why not sign Trevor Bauer?

By signing Trevor Bauer, the Rays would instantly boast the best starting rotation in baseball. He would be a perfect compliment to Glasnow and McClanahan.

Here are a few reasons why it would make sense for the Rays to sign Bauer.

The Rays are notoriously cheap, and Bauer can be had for the league minimum of $720,000.

Sure it would most likely be a one-year rental, But Tampa would be the perfect place for Bauer to rebuild his career. You don’t get to sign a former Cy Young Award winner still in his prime, at the MLB minimum every day.

Bauer Could Rebuild His Career in Obscurity

Unlike Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, or Boston, Tampa is not a baseball hotbed. So signing Bauer would allow him to rebuild his career in relative obscurity.

The media is soft in Tampa when it comes to covering any sports but the Buccaneers.

You would not have a reporter stationed outside the locker room asking Bauer daily about the alleged allegations like there would be in some larger markets.

There would be some small protests, I’m sure. But if DeShaun Watson can get another chance to rebuild his career in Cleveland, why not Trevor Bauer in Tampa?

After the initial outrage and threat to boycott the Rays, everyone would go on about their business once things cooled off.

Bauer Has Playoff Experience

The Rays are always in contention, and Bauer has that playoff experience that the Rays value. Bauer has pitched in the playoffs with Cleveland and Cincinnati.

Bauer has a lot of work to do if he wants to get back to his Cy Young form and get another big contract.

I’m sure he would come to camp with a chip on his shoulder, and the Rays would get his best as he works to rebuild his career.

The Rays have been willing to overlook player issues in the past. Outfielder Randy Arozarena is the most recent example. He was detained in Mexico for an alleged domestic abuse allegation following the 2020 World Series.

Bauer would come as a bargain; we all know the Rays love deals. They love to get players on the back end of their careers who have had above-average careers and pay below-market dollars.

Only Bauer is still in his prime.

Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn’t.

With pitchers and catchers reporting on February 15th, you would like to have Bauer for a full spring training. If he is signed during the season, you lose 4-5 weeks as he works to get his arm ready to pitch in a game.

Bauer was accused of sexual assault by a San Diego woman, but those allegations never led to formal charges being filed.

MLB investigated and found enough evidence to suspend Bauer for 324 games. Bauer was recently reinstated by MLB and was released by the Dodgers.

Bauer last pitched in a game in 2021, going 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA and 137 strikeouts with the Dodgers.

Other Athletes Have Been Given A Chance To Rebuild Their Career

The list of athletes who have been given second chances and a chance to rebuild their careers is quite lengthy.

Kareem Hunt, DeShaun Watson, Rafael Furcal, Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, Kobe Bryant, and Jameis Winston, Are just a few of these athletes that come to mind.

Most of these charges were eventually dropped, or a settlement was able to be reached.

Trevor Bauer deserves a chance to rebuild his career, and that should start in Tampa.

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