Trevor Bauer, a leading target to be moved before Wednesday’s trade deadline, had a disastrous outing on Sunday that ended in embarrassing fashion.
Trevor Bauer may have made his last start in a Cleveland Indians uniform on Sunday. If so, he couldn’t have ended his Indians career any worse.
Bauer gave up seven earned runs in 4.1 innings against the Kansas City Royals, walking four batters while surrendering nine base hits. But that wasn’t the most embarrassing part of his afternoon. When manager Terry Francona came to the mound to take him out of the game with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning, Bauer angrily threw the ball over the fence in center field before walking off the field for possibly the last time as an Indian.
He was unsteady from the start, giving up a run in the first inning and two more, one of them unearned, in the third. It was in the fifth inning, however, where the Royals erupted.
Kansas City loaded the bases with nobody out before Ryan O’Hearn and Cheslor Cuthbert got back-to-back singles to score two runs. After getting one out, Bauer allowed a single to Nicky Lopez that brought in two more runs and forced him from the game. Reliever Tyler Clippard gave up another run in a five-run inning for the Royals, who went on to beat the Indians 9-6.
The 28-year-old Bauer has another year of arbitration eligibility left before he could become a free agent after the 2020 season. That makes him an enticing target to be moved before Wednesday’s trade deadline, especially since the emergence of second-year starter Shane Bieber as an All-Star. Bauer has a 67-52 record and 3.84 ERA in his seven years in Cleveland. He had the best year of his career in 2018, finishing second in the AL in ERA and sixth in Cy Young Award voting.
But Bauer hasn’t been able to replicate that success so far in 2019. He’s already given up 23 more earned runs this year than he did all of last season. He got off to a great start in April, winning four of his first five decisions while pitching to a 2.45 ERA. In his last 17 starts since the beginning of May, though, Bauer’s ERA has jumped to 4.38 and he’s only 5-6 in that span.
The Indians as a team, though, are surging. Winners of 17 of their last 21 games entering play on Sunday, Cleveland has snuck up to within a game of the Minnesota Twins for the AL Central lead.
Bauer might not be around the club for much longer, but teams that were looking to pick him up before Wednesday won’t like what they saw on Sunday.