Monday December 4, 2023

Trevor Bauer’s Innovative MLB Contract

  • Trevor Bauer forged an unconventional path in his contract and his agency relationship, valuing mobility over long-term security.
  • He is donating $1,000 per strikeout to youth and STEM focused organizations through his #KsForACause campaign.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks
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Trevor Bauer, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ big offseason signing, said he was “pissed” about the team’s recent skid. Should the defending champs fail to right the ship, Bauer, due to his unique contract, doesn’t have to stick around. 

Bauer will make $38 million this season, followed by two one-year options for $32 million. 

Coming off a Cy Young win, Bauer could have opted for a more conventional contract that may have equaled the nine-year, $324 million pact his one-time roommate, Gerrit Cole, signed with the New York Yankees in 2019.

“For me, this type of contract made the most sense because the most important thing to me isn’t long-term security, it’s being able to control my destiny,” Bauer told Front Office Sports.

The 30-year-old was the first client of his agency, Luba Sports. Instead of a flat fee, typically 4-5% of the total contract, Luba charges a lower base with optional add-ons.

“I pay for the services I need — contract negotiation, various reviewing of off-field contracts,” Bauer explained. “This allows me to use the money I would have spent in the traditional agency model to build a dedicated team around me that can service me more personally.”

Whether or not he stays in L.A., Bauer is making an impact while he’s there, using his #KsForACause campaign to donate $1,000 to organizations for every strikeout he notches each month.

“I’m really focused on identifying and supporting organizations doing impactful work in STEM and a variety of youth programming in the greater Los Angeles area,” Bauer told Front Office Sports. “I’ve worked closely with my team and the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) to review and select each organization.”

In April, he donated $51,000 to Think Together to facilitate afterschool STEM programs, and this month his 16 Ks (and counting) will go to Matthew McConaughey’s just keep livin Foundation, focused on youth empowerment.

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