Yankees: Trevor Bauer’s latest antics make it clear why he clashes with Gerrit Cole
By Adam Weinrib
Trevor Bauer making a mockery of free agency is why the Yankees have Gerrit Cole.
Another week, another Trevor Bauer story where the free agent righty has chosen to conjure an argument out of thin air, and another clear reason he and Gerrit Cole aren’t a match re-made in heaven on the Yankees.
For someone on the verge of fame and fortune, Bauer still remarkably opts to act like the human embodiment of a Twitter Egg.
Though he’s proven it time and again, it’s still amazing that, yes, Bauer really is too thin-skinned to handle…normal facets of a free agent negotiation, like “tweets from Jon Heyman,” the latest thing to set him off on Tuesday.
Even when Heyman innocuously fires off supposed contract requests, no doubt fed to him by industry types, the righty can’t laugh it off. He simply must interact with the message. He can, and will, be baited by just about anything.
Shouldn’t we have learned from Donald Trump that adult men rarely “completely change their tone” overnight? Even with everything at stake.
Remind me. Did Gerrit Cole do any negotiating through the media last year? Did Gerrit Cole say much of anything last year?
The Yankees’ ace intends to be the heartbeat of every rotation he’s a part of. Whether intentional or not, he’s perfectly hewn his personal brand over the past few years: Speak softly (until trouble has been escaped), carry a big stick, and do anything it takes to win in the cap of his childhood dream team, the New York Yankees. Bauer’s much-ballyhooed brand, on the other hand, has consisted mostly of stringing an endless list of fan bases along for the ride of his free agency, inevitably letting most of them down, and causing trouble where there otherwise is none.
Cole has everything Bauer would like to attain: The richest pitching contract in the game, and a level of unbridled consistency on the mound that is celebrated with long-term security. Bauer knows, instead, that he’s volatile. It’s why he floated the innovative strategy of signing nomadic, one-year contracts ad infinitum before the pandemic hit and he decided he’d rather settle down in one place.
But this man is never settled down, and can be sent into a froth . His agent, too, is ready at a moment’s notice to hit any reporter with a loud, “Check the facts!” that no one asked for. They’re a perfect tag team.
Oh! She was on a plane! Gotcha, Jon!
Bauer and his agent Rachel Luba have set out to “disrupt” the industry in the most boring offseason to date. Apparently, while living in the doldrums, that “disruption” means picking petty squabbles with insiders over non-information. The rest of us have learned to tune out these say-nothing updates; why can’t Bauer?
The always-aggressive Bauer and the quietly motivated Cole could surely coexist on the same roster, but it wouldn’t be pleasant.
And that’s the heart of the dispute, real or feigned. Cole could stomach Bauer, but why bother? There will be other rotation fish in the sea in the not-so-distant future who won’t hamstring the budget and Newsmax up the locker room.