Trevor Bauer headed to Nippon Professional Baseball in an attempt to resurrect his career. If the SoftBank Hawks have their way, Bauer may never leave.
According to Yahoo Japan, the Hawks are interested in signing Bauer as he enters free agency this offseason. Other NPB teams are also interested in his services per the report. A potential return to the majors is also considered a possibility for Bauer.
Trevor Bauer has multiple options this offseason
Bauer’s career was on the rocks when he headed to Japan. Domestic violence charges, a lengthy suspension, and the PR hit that came with him made Bauer a pariah in the majors. The hope was that he could rebuild his career and value with the Yokohama BayStars. He did exactly that as he posted a 2.76 ERA and a 1.148 WHiP over his 130.2 innings, striking out 130 batters with 31 walks. Those numbers were all the more impressive considering he had not pitched in an official game in a year and a half at the start of the season.
Normally, that performance would be more than enough to lead to a major league comeback. Bauer is a different case however. While some would say he was exonerated as more evidence came to light, his presence would spark outrage by a significant segment of the population. Teams may not want to run that risk.
All it takes is one team. Other players that were suspended under the domestic violence policy were able to continue their major league careers. Bauer could help a major league team that is desperate to reach the postseason and bring home a title. But will a team take that plunge? If not, Bauer will have plenty of opportunities in Japan.
Trevor Bauer is going to have plenty of suitors this offseason. That does not necessarily mean that the majors will welcome him back just yet.