I don’t think any of us expected otherwise, but given his high-profile free agency, it is nevertheless worth sharing.
Per Paul Sullivan, the Chicago Cubs will not have interest in free agent starter Trevor Bauer:
Bauer, 32 tomorrow, was just made a free agent on Friday after the Los Angeles Dodgers released him. He had been serving a multi-season suspension under the league’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy, but an arbitrator reduced the suspension and reinstated Bauer earlier this offseason. That left the Dodgers with a period of time to decide what to do, and, after failing to trade Bauer, they decided to release him.
So, Bauer is now a free agent, available to sign with any team for the league minimum. But, for reasons we’ve discussed before, it’s unlikely that many, if any, MLB teams will be interested in signing Bauer:
Even if you felt Bauer, who hasn’t pitched in over a year and a half, was going to be a clear upgrade for your rotation, you would also have to be confident that his addition would not disrupt your clubhouse in a way that negates the value his arm would have brought in the first place. It isn’t just that Bauer served the longest suspension ever under the league’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy, as ESPN pointed out, it’s that he has been extraordinarily combative through the process. Moreover, there is still litigation ongoing, which means it’s not like a team can bury the story any time soon. And it’s not like Bauer didn’t come with a history of questionable off-field behavior long before the Dodgers signed him. The distraction of it would matter, not just to fans, not just to the business side, but also to a team trying to compete free from needless outside drama. The question of whether it’s worth it, for most teams, is going to be an easy one to answer.
So, to anyone asking my opinion on whether the Cubs should try to use this terrible situation as an opportunity to get a pitcher on the cheap, my thought is that it would be a horrible, horrible idea for reasons that both include baseball and also transcend it.