Bauer: Indians won't 'be able to sign me in free agency'
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The Cleveland Indians are reportedly open to dealing their starting pitching depth, and Trevor Bauer is not shy about weighing in on his own trade value.

The right-hander hopped on MLB Network to discuss why it makes more sense to trade him next winter instead of this winter. He added that moving him is still somewhat imperative for Cleveland:

(Video courtesy: MLB.com)

"There's a lot of reasons I think that," Bauer said, after Ken Rosenthal asked him about the comments. "Ultimately, I think the surplus value this year on me is just way too high. They're probably - even with arbitration range - they're probably talking about $15-20 million on surplus value. I think, of the starters that they were talking about trading - (Corey) Kluber, (Carlos) Carrasco, and me - I think all of us bring a tremendous return. So I think you can get a very similar package of players in return regardless of who you trade. I think Carrasco and me have the largest surplus value going into this year, so, that's why I said that.

"... In 2020, when my salary raises up to the $20-million range, then surplus value isn't nearly as much and they're most likely not going to be able to sign me in free agency, even on one-year deals. So, it would make sense to trade me (then), and get some prospects in return."

Player 2019 salary 2020 salary 2021 salary
Bauer Arb-2 Arb-3 FA
Kluber $17M $17.5M* $18M*
Carrasco $9.75M $9.5M* FA

* - denotes team option

Bauer is projected to earn $11.6 million through arbitration this offseason, according to MLB Trade Rumors.

When a Twitter user replied to Bauer in a since-deleted tweet, chiding the 2018 All-Star for talking "about himself like he's a superstar," Bauer replied by saying he was actually better than rotation-mate and two-time Cy Young winner Kluber last season.

Player IP ERA FIP WAR
Bauer 175 1/3 2.21 2.44 6.1
Kluber 215 2.89 3.12 5.6

Kluber, who won 20 games for the first time in his career, wound up finishing third in Cy Young voting, finishing as a finalist for the fourth time in his career. Meanwhile, Bauer, who missed time at the end of the season due to injury, finished sixth.

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Bauer: Indians won't 'be able to sign me in free agency'
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