Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer just went through the MLB arbitration process this week, beating the team for a salary of $13 million. After it was over, Bauer made some comments about the process and one of them raised some eyebrows.
Bauer stated that he only wants to sign one-year contracts for the rest of his career. He believes that every team could afford him on a one-year deal, even if it was top dollar.
Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer says one-year deals could be the answer to MLB's free-agency freeze. https://t.co/No0qOpY9oQ— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) February 15, 2019
Given the slow pace that free agency has exhibited the last two years, Bauer's strategy is getting a lot of attention, which is a problem.
Signing a one-year deal may seem like a good idea, but there's no financial security with that. One year, you could be making $30 million, the next, you could be making $3 million. Players want to have the security of a long-term deal so they won't panic when they slump or if they happen to get injured and lose value the following year.
This is especially a bad idea for pitchers, whose elbows can blow out at any moment, as we've seen with the dramatic rise in Tommy John surgeries. One torn UCL and a pitcher is off the mound for at least a year and no team will be interested in playing the waiting game.
It's a risky move by Bauer, who has put together two consecutive good years on the mound. If he has a down season this year, then his philosophy will be put to the test.