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Rumor: Mets offer Trevor Bauer contract rivaling Gerrit Cole’s historic average annual value

Trevor Bauer, Mets, Gerrit Cole, Yankees

The New York Mets offered right-handed starting pitcher Trevor Bauer a mammoth contract in free agency in recent weeks, according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports.

The offer reportedly approaches the average annual value of the contract Gerrit Cole signed with the New York Yankees last offseason. Cole signed a nine-year, $324 million deal with the Yankees, giving him $36 million annually.

Bauer’s offer from the Mets reportedly isn’t nearly as long as Cole’s deal, but it’s still extremely lucrative. The negotiations are ongoing between the two parties.

However, Nightengale also reports that the Mets are keeping tabs on Bauer’s controversial activity on social media, especially after recently firing general manager Jared Porter for sexual harassment. The pitcher has clashed with numerous people on Twitter over the years and even issued a statement last week on his social media presence:

β€œI have always tried to be an open book and appreciate that social media gives me a platform to have an open dialogue with fans and the greater public,’’ Bauer said in his statement, first reported by The Athletic. β€œI don’t shy away from confrontation and am often quick to defend myself, but I am by no means a bully and I take great offense to my character being called into question. I understand what comes with having a following on social media but I have never asked for nor do I condone anyone making threats or lewd comments on my behalf.’’

The Mets are also exploring other options on the market, but Bauer would be another big get after they acquired Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco earlier this offseason in a trade with the Cleveland Indians.

The 30-year-old Bauer is coming off a Cy Young season with the Cincinnati Reds. He posted a sterling 1.73 ERA and struck out 100 batters in 73 innings of work during the shortened campaign.

2020 was Bauer’s second season as a legitimate ace. After years of posting an ERA in the 4s, Bauer broke through as a top-of-the-rotation guy in 2018 with Cleveland. That season, he recorded an ERA of 2.21 and struck out 221 batters in 175 1/3 innings pitched. While his performance took a dip in 2019, the right-hander returned to form in 2020.

The Mets are looking to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.