Reds’ Trevor Bauer rejects qualifying offer, becomes free agent

National League Cy Young finalist Trevor Bauer rejected the Cincinnati Reds’ qualifying offer, agent Rachel Luba said Wednesday via Twitter.

The Reds tendered the $18.9 million qualifying offer on Sunday and the right-handed Bauer had until Nov. 11 to accept or reject it. He will become a free agent.

“Why wait for the QO to expire to state the obvious (plus @BauerOutage believes the QO is a ridiculous process so let’s just put it to bed),” Luba tweeted. “Trevor Bauer has rejected the QO but not the Reds, & he looks forward to speaking w/ them & all other interested teams thru Free Agency.”

If Bauer signs with a different team, the Reds will receive a compensatory pick due to the rejection of the qualifying offer. If he signs a contract worth more than $50 million, Cincinnati would receive a higher draft choice.

Trevor Bauer
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Bauer is expected to command a hefty long-term contract with an annual salary much higher than the qualifying offer. He was slated to earn $17.5 million in 2020 but that figure was slashed to $6.48 million after every player’s salary was sharply reduced due to the financial ramifications of the 60-game season caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Bauer, 29, went 5-4 with an NL-leading 1.73 ERA in 11 starts for the Reds in 2020. He struck out 100 and allowed just 41 hits and 17 walks in 73 innings.

Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets and Yu Darvish of the Chicago Cubs are the other NL Cy Young finalists.

Bauer has a 75-64 record and 3.90 ERA in 205 appearances (195 starts) with the Arizona Diamondbacks (2012), Cleveland Indians (2013-19) and Reds. He was an All-Star with the Indians in 2018.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)