4. Trevor Bauer, Cincinnati Reds
Trevor Bauer is in the exact same situation as Marcus Stroman, except for the fact that Stroman is coming off the best season of his young career and Bauer is arguably coming off of the worst. Bauer finished the 2019 season with a 4.48 ERA.
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That was because of a terrible stint with the Cincinnati Reds after being dealt. Bauer made 10 starts for the Reds and allowed 40 earned runs in 56 and one-third innings, good for a 6.39 ERA. Before being traded, his ERA was at 3.79.
The ceiling for Bauer is much higher though, which is why I have him as the best possible pitcher to acquire. We saw this in 2018, when Bauer finished with a 2.21 ERA in 27 starts, finishing sixth in Cy Young voting and even getting an MVP vote.
There is a better chance of the Reds dealing Bauer than the Mets dealing Stroman. Even if both teams are out of the playoff picture, the Mets are probably more likely to try and hold onto Stroman for contract talks, whereas the small-market Reds would not even hesitate to trade Bauer.
We already have precedent for this as well. The Reds traded for Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Kyle Farmer and Alex Wood from the Los Angeles Dodgers last offseason. Kemp was quickly released, Puig got traded to Cleveland in the Bauer deal, before becoming a free agent this offseason.
The cost for half a season of Bauer would completely be indicative of how he is performing. Bauer at his best might price the Angels out, while Bauer at his worst would give them a much better shot.
Either way, with not a lot of options, the Los Angeles Angels would likely buy high on his ceiling, especially considering he is the only pitcher on this list with more than one playoff start under his belt.