Bauer made the most of his free agent season with a league-leading 1.73 ERA over 73 innings, including 2 complete game shutouts. Bauer showed up in the postseason for the Reds as well, going 7 2/3 innings allowing just 2 hits while striking out 12 and walking none. During the regular season, opponents hit just .159 against him, the best mark in the league.
That represents quite the platform for a freshly minted free agent. Teams will also have to consider Bauer’s frustrating 2019 campaign, though he was dealing with injuries for much of the year and his comeback left little to be desired. Bauer is one of the most entertaining, enigmatic, and opinionated personalities in the game, and now he’s heading into the open market as the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner.
As close as the race seemed leading up to the event, Bauer ran away with it, taking 27 first-place votes and 201 total points. Yu Darvish finished 2nd with 3 first-place votes and 123 total point, and Jacob deGrom finished 3rd with 89 points. 12 different pitchers received at least one vote for the award.