Well, this sure was an interesting news break yesterday. The Angels entered the offseason needing one thing. Pitching.
They’ve done a decent job so far, adding guys like Raisel Iglesias and José Quintana. However, they were still lacking that ace to lead the starting rotation. There was one available on the free-agent market, and it seemed like the Angels would be a perfect fit.
Trevor Bauer, the 2020 National League Cy Young Award winner, has yet to pick a team in free agency. There were rumblings that him and the Angels would be a perfect hit. He was born and raised in Los Angeles. He’s seeking a big payday. And.. most importantly, the Angels could really use starting pitching help.
Those rumors were put to rest yesterday though, as Maria Torres of the LA Times reported that the Angels aren’t interested in Bauer and they’ll pursue starting pitching elsewhere.
But he’s not a great fit in Anaheim, according to people with knowledge of the Angels’ thinking, even if the team were to offer him the record-setting annual value (greater than $36 million) he reportedly seeks.
She reports that finances are a factor in the decision. As of right now, the Angels’ payroll sits at $186.5 million, putting them $23.5 million under the luxury-tax threshold. Though we’re unsure of the contract Bauer is set to get, it’ll likely be above $23.5 million, putting the Angels above that number.
Another issue, and apparently the biggest one, is the fact that Bauer and Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway reportedly don’t get along. Callaway was with Bauer from 2013 through 2017. Bauer publicly talked about the tension between them in a Sports Illustrated cover story that ran in 2019.
“I’m going to try to find every single way to do better and I’ve probably researched it more than you have,” Bauer said in reference to a disagreement over pitch usage he had with Callaway. “Don’t tell me what I do and don’t know without some good f—ing data behind it.”
According to the article, the relationship between Bauer and Callaway is believed to be “eroded beyond repair”. If that’s the case, it makes a lot of sense as to why the Angels aren’t interested in signing the free-agent.