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Is Trevor Bauer Better Than Jose Berrios?

This winter Trevor Bauer is widely considered the best free agent pitcher on the planet. He’s is coming off a tremendous 2020 campaign where he won the NL Cy Young Award, which puts him in place for a contract north of $100 million. Some Twins fans are clamoring for the team to sign Bauer, but how does he compare to one of Minnesota’s best starters?
Image courtesy of © Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Bauer), © Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports (Berrios)
The Trevor Bauer Argument
Trevor Bauer dominated the 2020 season as he posted a 1.73 ERA with a 0.80 WHIP while leading the National League in ERA, CG, ERA+, WHIP, and H/9. It was a truly dominant season, but he only made 11 starts. To put this in perspective, he was traded from Cleveland to Cincinnati in 2019 and made 10 starts. During that span, his ERA was 6.39 and his WHIP was 1.35. Sample size is an important thing to consider in baseball and all professional sports.

Looking at Bauer’s full career, adds a little more intrigue to the argument. Through his first six big-league seasons, he had a 4.36 ERA with a 1.36 WHIP. His ERA+ was 99 and his FIP was 4.15, so there was certainly some room for improvement. Even with his 2018 All-Star season and last year’s Cy Young campaign, he has a career 3.90 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. There’s only been one season where he has thrown over 190 innings and he only has an ERA less than 4.18 in two seasons.

Will the team signing Bauer get the 2018 and 2020 version or the version that has been present throughout the rest of his career?

The Jose Berrios Argument
Minnesota could try and sign Jose Berrios to an extension this winter, but it will likely cost the club north of $100 million. Berrios is under team control for the next two seasons before reaching free agency as a 29-year old. The Twins have approached him about an extension in the past, but he betted on himself and is taking the arbitration process one year at a time. This could be the smart play for Berrios as he has direct control over his future because his future earnings will increase if he plays well.

Compared to Bauer, Berrios has plenty of things in his favor. Outside of the abbreviated 2020 season, he had posted sub-3.90 ERA marks in three consecutive seasons. Bauer has only been able to match that total in one season where he made more than 11 starts. For his career, Berrios also has a better strikeout per walk total and a very similar WHIP to Bauer while pitching over 190 innings in 2018 and 2019.

Trevor Bauer is a very good pitcher, and he has made some tremendous strides over the last three seasons. However, the Twins already have a similar pitcher under team control. Adding Bauer to the Twins rotation would certainly improve the rotation, but Minnesota also needs to figure out a way to keep a pitcher that has developed in their own organization.

Who would you rather have over the next five years, Bauer or Berrios? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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14 Comments

We live today in a fast paced society of immediate return. What have you done lately?

Kershaw is a potential HOF SP who has been, unfortunately, cursed with some poor post season performances. He had a good 2020 WS and the Dogers won. Now he's great again!

How fickle perception can be.

Fran Tarkenton set records in a 14 game season when defense and ground and pound was still the way the game was played. It took 30yrs and a completely different way of playing the game before Manning and Farve and others broke his records.

My point? Perception.

Bauer has the ability and intellect to be GREAT! And he has been. But can he be does he want to be? He COULD go on a roll the next few seasons to be one of the next generational SP. And I have often argued that MOST of the SP who we argue as being ACE SP don't achieve that status until their late 20's or early 30's when stuff matches maturity and experience.

I LOVE my Twins having an ACE SP. That ONE GUY can thrill fans, stop losing streaks, and MAYBE, win game one of a big series. But that guy only pitches every 5th day. So what happens if he loses? What do you have next?

You need to build the best team you can for your season. In any sport. The best and deepest team you can. From there, you hope your outcome is the best it can be.

I HOPE Maeda is what he he showed going forward. I actually believe Berrios may prove to be as good or better with changes in his routine that 2020 didn't provide. Time may prove me wrong, but I just wouldn't spend the $ on Bauer.

I would spend $ on the talent and depth of my team for the long haul and build the best, deepest and most talented and versatile team I can.
    • h2oface, mikelink45, Dave The Dastardly and 1 other like this

Bauer absolutely lucked out (odd thing to happen and say in the covid era) and only had to shine for 2 months. His next four months on the mound could look that the end of 2019, or he could start good and tire in the final 2 months of a 6 month season. Or he could have just found it and stay at the high level. 

 

People are ready to annoit him the next best pitcher for 2 months of recent history, and pay him like Verlander or Kershaw or Cole..... yet they look at two months of someone like Garver and assume the same two months are a permanent downfall. I think someone is going to overpay big time for Bauer, and it will be a big mistake. Or.... Bauer will actually mean what he says, not be a flake, and sign a huge one year deal. 

 

Berrios has had a 2 month stints that looked as good or better than Bauer's. Bauer has really lucked out in his free agent timing. Risk abounds always. For the player and the owners. I would be more interested in signing Berrios long term than Bauer, but love to have Bauer for one or two high dollar seasons.I hope they do and give him a chance to pitch every 4 days, and give the other starters a rotated extra day (6 days rest) about every 5 weeks.

    • mikelink45 likes this

Bauer is an ace on a team with a SOLID rotation. Berrios is a #3 starter on a team with a solid rotation. Sorry, Berrios is good just not an ace. He sadly seems to start hot and runs out of gas during the season.

    • TopGunn#22 and tvagle like this

I do not trust the Bauer surge.Great short season, but history should teach us lessons - take this quote from Wiki - "in 2006 when Aaron Harang, Derek Lowe, Brad Penny, John Smoltz, Brandon Webb, and Carlos Zambrano each won 16 games in the National League. In the American League, four pitchers shared the award in the strike-shortened 1981 season."How many of those pitchers were great?How many would you want to give a long term contract to?Of course Smoltz, but the others had a similar season.  

 

Remember Mike Hampton and the massive contract that shocked the world of baseball and then Mike returned to what he was - a mediocre pitcher with a lot of money.

 

2005 Dontrelle Willis looked like he could be the next Walter Johnson - then reality took over.  

 

Even our Mudcat Grant - 1965 wins 21 games and gets great press.Next year he wins 13 and then never hits double figures again.In those years wins counted. Pitchers pitched complete games and win totals reflected their importance.He could have been in line for a big long term contract.It did not come and the teams that considered it were happy it did not happen.  

    • h2oface likes this

I love Jose, but this isn't even a close comparison. Bauer has deservedly won one Cy young and finished 6th another year. Berrios has never received Cy Young votes. Bauer was very good in 2017 and 2018; he's not a two month wonder. 

 

Berrios is a solid #2 or very good #3 rotation option. Bauer is an ace. 

 

Both are very durable and pitch lots of innings. 

    • TopGunn#22 likes this
Photo
tony&rodney
Dec 11 2020 03:16 PM

Sign Bauer, have him pitch the day after Berrios and then we shall see who is better.

Why not?

 

We live today in a fast paced society of immediate return. What have you done lately?

Kershaw is a potential HOF SP who has been, unfortunately, cursed with some poor post season performances. He had a good 2020 WS and the Dogers won. Now he's great again!

How fickle perception can be.

Fran Tarkenton set records in a 14 game season when defense and ground and pound was still the way the game was played. It took 30yrs and a completely different way of playing the game before Manning and Farve and others broke his records.

My point? Perception.

Bauer has the ability and intellect to be GREAT! And he has been. But can he be does he want to be? He COULD go on a roll the next few seasons to be one of the next generational SP. And I have often argued that MOST of the SP who we argue as being ACE SP don't achieve that status until their late 20's or early 30's when stuff matches maturity and experience.

I LOVE my Twins having an ACE SP. That ONE GUY can thrill fans, stop losing streaks, and MAYBE, win game one of a big series. But that guy only pitches every 5th day. So what happens if he loses? What do you have next?

You need to build the best team you can for your season. In any sport. The best and deepest team you can. From there, you hope your outcome is the best it can be.

I HOPE Maeda is what he he showed going forward. I actually believe Berrios may prove to be as good or better with changes in his routine that 2020 didn't provide. Time may prove me wrong, but I just wouldn't spend the $ on Bauer.

I would spend $ on the talent and depth of my team for the long haul and build the best, deepest and most talented and versatile team I can.

Bauer has stated he wants to pitch every fourth day. 

 I say we sign 'em both, sit back and watch, and let them duke it out!! :)

    • TopGunn#22 likes this
Photo
operation mindcrime
Dec 12 2020 12:05 AM
Yes!

LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

Photo
Major League Ready
Dec 12 2020 07:20 AM

 

Bauer has stated he wants to pitch every fourth day. 

 

Her can state whatever he likes. The only way a team would go along with that venture is if he actually signed one years deals. Any team making a $150M investment is not going along with his statement. You However, you just might have the hook. Promise him a start ever 4 days if he signs for 1 year.

I have never been a Bauer fan.He can be good, but he has not been consistent.Even more concerning, is he can be a huge hot head that can be tough on a clubhouse.Unlike other sports, I feel having good team chemistry is big in baseball.You spend every day with the same people for hopefully 10 months.EVERY DAY for hours on end.You do not get weekends away like most of us 9-5 people.So when one guy can fight with teammates, throw balls into center field stands when being pulled from game. (impressive as that is that he could do it, still childish).For me to put with that you need to be 100% worth it.  

 

Personally, I would pass on him.Just because he is the top FA this year does not mean he is worth paying top FA money long term.I would rather keep Jose long term if those are only 2 options. 

Oh, come on.This isn't even close.Bauer has reached a level all we Twins fans have DREAMED Jose would.

I'm willing to bet that Bauer will continue to be an Ace for a few more years.  

He won the N.L. Cy Young !That's more than an Ace.It's being the BEST !

Jose shows flashes but hasn't turned the corner yet and the annual "I've run out of Gas performance doesn't engender a high degree of confidence.

If you ask ANY poster on TD "who would you rather have" 90% would say Bauer.

And the other 10% would use excuses like "I'm not sure I'd want Bauer in my clubhouse."

Whatever.

It's game #1 of the World Series against the Dodgers.Bauer or Berrios ??

Yeah. Bauer.

    • dex8425 likes this
Photo
Channing1964
Dec 15 2020 05:15 PM
Well I personally think Bauer is a little better at this point in time but Man...He sure fits nice in our rotation...and his #27 is available too...

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