The bidding war wasn’t short on drama, fueled by a pair of media mishaps, a premature tweet by Bob Nightengale saying the Mets had signed Bauer, and links on the Free Agent pitcher’s website for Mets apparel, including an autographed hat.
Despite the hints that Bauer was headed to Queens, the pitcher remained unsigned until finally releasing a video on Friday.
Bauer teased a handful of potential teams in his video, but ultimately revealed his decision to join the Dodgers. The long and chaotic saga left a lot of fans angry, but Bauer was quick to try and make up for how quickly the situation soured.
In a series of tweets a few days after agreeing to the Dodgers deal, Bauer apologized to Mets fans, explaining that the errant link went up early and that his marketing team had links planned for both the Mets and Dodgers.
“My intention this entire offseason was to engage with fans in ways that made the off season and free agent process more interesting,” he said. “I woke up early on Friday not knowing what my decision would be, and spent the next five hours on the phone with my representation team trying to figure that out.
“The resulting confusion is understandable and regrettable,” Bauer contineud. “My intention was never to mislead your fan base, nor was it to troll you in any way. I had a fantastic time engaging with fans from many teams over the last few months and Mets fans are as passionate and energetic a bunch as any, so I offer my sincerest apologies for how the events Friday played out. It was an embarrassing and emotional moment for me.”
Bauer continued to build on his apology by giving back to fans and the community. Four New York organizations, the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens, Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC, STEM Kids NYC, and the Get Schooled Foundation, all received a $10,000 donation as a final olive branch from the LA-bound Bauer.
The donation is a great gift to local organizations, all doing their best to help out during the economic crisis largely affecting neighborhoods in Queens.
For fans who entered the sweepstakes for the autographed Mets hat, they were instead offered a chance to win tickets for a future Mets-Dodgers game. When fans are permitted to rejoin the action in MLB parks across the country, Bauer will invite the winners of the raffle to Dodger Stadium, likely to be a highly anticipated contest.
Bauer is yet another big name on the market that the Mets missed out on, but even without him their starting rotation and roster are loaded with talent. Two-time Cy Young-winner Jacob deGrom will still take the mound on opening day, looking to bounce back after narrowly missing out on a three-peat of the award in 2020.
Behind him in the rotation are Marcus Stroman, new additions Carlos Carrasco and Joey Lucchesi, and David Peterson, who comes off an impressive rookie season. Flamethrower Noah Syndergaard is also set to return from Tommy John surgery, hoping for a dynamic comeback from a tough injury.
Even if he’s dressed in Dodger blue, Bauer is looking forward to stopping by Queens as he helps LA defend their title. The Mets are one of a handful of National League hopefuls hoping to challenge Los Angeles, but the addition of Bauer only makes the Dodgers a bigger threat.
“I look forward to my next visit to Citi Field and hope to hear you just as loud in person, even if it’s not in cheers for me,” said Bauer.