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Column: Adding Trevor Bauer to an already stacked Dodgers roster? It’s not even fair

Trevor Bauer pitches
NL Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer signed a three-year, $102-million deal with the Dodgers.
(Aaron Gash / Associated Press)

Trevor Bauer is coming to the Dodgers?

One hand is over my mouth and the other hand is slapping my head.

The best pitcher in the National League last season is joining the defending World Series champions?

That can’t be real. That can’t be fair. Somebody needs to investigate.

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I just did. I clicked on a YouTube video shortly before noon Friday and listened to Bauer narrate a sentimental journey through his career that ended with a shot of him tossing a baseball in his hands while wearing a Dodgers uniform.

“This season is about adding to our legacy ... and I can’t wait, Dodger fans,” he says.

The Dodgers sign Trevor Bauer, the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner, to a contract, outbidding the New York Mets.

Wow. He did it. The Dodgers did it. This is really happening.

Trevor Bauer is coming to Los Angeles and the Dodgers may never lose another game.

The best rotation in baseball just got incredibly deeper. The most star-filled roster in baseball just got noticeably glitzier. The best team in baseball just got enormously better.

And, face it, the best franchise in baseball proved once again that there’s nobody close.

Under no pressure to do this — and with no real need to do this — the Dodgers nonetheless forked over a reported $102 million for three years to buy a 30-year-old right-hander who won the National League Cy Young Award last year for the Cincinnati Reds and is just entering his prime.

Free-agent pitcher Trevor Bauer announces he is signing with the Dodgers.

Seriously, who’s going to beat them now?

Can you imagine stepping into a playoff series against a rotation of Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, Trevor Bauer and David Price? And, oh, yeah, looming in the background are Dustin May and Julio Urìas?
Think about it. The Dodgers are now so good that the reigning Cy Young winner is their No. 3 starter, and their pitching staff now has five Cy Young awards among them.

By acquiring Bauer one season after trading for Mookie Betts, the Dodgers are proving that their philosophy was never just about winning their first title in 32 years. It’s about winning a bunch of titles over the next several years. With moves like this, they have evolved from October demonized into a potential dynasty.

Just as the Rams showed last weekend in trading for quarterback Matthew Stafford, collecting stars in dramatic fashion is what all great Los Angeles sports franchises have done, and must do, and the Dodgers really did it this time.

New Dodger Trevor Bauer’s nearly perfect junior season at Hart High and continuing stardom at UCLA through hard work foreshadowed his MLB greatness.

Bauer was the top free-agent pitcher on the market. He reportedly turned down a similar offer from the New York Mets at the last minute, and he’ll be coming home to where he played for Santa Clarita Hart High and UCLA. Is that Hollywood enough for you?

While his career ERA is just 3.90 during nine seasons with three different teams, during last season’s abbreviated 60-game schedule he ranked second in all of baseball with a 1.73 ERA while holding opposing hitters to a baseball-best .159 average. He struck out 100, walked just 17, and in a playoff game against the Atlanta Braves he struck out 12 and walked none in 7 2/3 scoreless innings.

A look at some of Trevor Bauer's achievements in baseball.
(Tim Hubbard / Los Angeles Times)

Granted, it’s well known that as much as he overpowers hitters from the mound, Bauer can also alienate teammates in the clubhouse. He can be strident about his cutting-edge views on pitching, which makes him sometimes hard to catch, and sometimes hard to coach. He has little tolerance for baseball’s button-down culture and his highly visible social media presence has at times curdled into bullying.

But there’s no argument that he can pitch. And the Dodgers now have enough strong leaders in the room that combative personalities aren’t allowed to become distractions.

Trevor Bauer to the Dodgers is a good thing, a powerful thing, a championship thing.

Now it’s time for Justin Turner.


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