While the Mets have shown interest in Bauer all winter, their push has increased during the last few days after George Springer opted to sign with the Toronto Blue Jays, according to Rosenthal. The Mets reportedly didn't want to give Springer more than $120 million, $30 million less than what he ultimately got from Toronto.
Adding Bauer would most likely push the Mets' payroll past the luxury-tax threshold. The team is currently about $25 million below the tax line, per Spotrac, and there have been questions about whether new owner Steve Cohen is willing to go over the threshold in his first offseason. Shortstop Francisco Lindor is on the verge of free agency and will command a sizable extension.
Other teams that are believed to be eyeing Bauer include the Blue Jays and Los Angeles Dodgers, Rosenthal reports.
Bauer, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, is considered the top free-agent pitcher available this winter. It's unclear what the 30-year-old's current contract demands are.