PORT ST. LUCIE — Sandy Alderson doesn’t regret his team’s aggressive – and ultimately unsuccessful – pursuit of the polarizing Trevor Bauer.
He acknowledged, however, that the pitcher might have proven too tough to handle.
“It’s hard to know how it would’ve turned out, but we thought we could manage it,” Alderson said Monday in a Zoom news conference. “Maybe that was naive. We’ll see.”
Bauer signed a three-year, $102-million contract with the Dodgers in January last month, passing up a slightly higher offer (three years and $105 million) from the Mets; both deals featured opt-outs after both the 2021 and 2022 seasons. Since signing, Bauer has maintained his abrasive Twitter personality, punching back ferociously at his would’ve-been teammates Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman and voicing opinions about immigration and race. In the past, Bauer behaved questionably toward a female college student and didn’t police his rabid followers from doing the same.
Alderson said he never spoke directly with Bauer during the negotiations, although he spoke at length both with Bauer’s representatives and internally among Mets officials about this issue.
“We knew some of the risks associated with some of the social-media stuff, “ Alderson said. “We actually had some discussions internally with a group or groups in our organizations to talk about that, including women.”
Alderson continued on Bauer: “First of all, he’s a quality player so we start there, and then we work our way through some of the other issues. We did a lot of homework on his social media. …Talking about his social-media presence and how that might differ than others and their social-media presence. Whether that presence was directed at a particular group of people or was just generally aggressive. We went through a lot of that. That’s not to say there weren’t still risks with it.
“We talked extensively with the agent (Jon Fetterolf and Rachel Luba represented Bauer). I never talked to Trevor myself. We talked extensively about what would be necessary at the outset about taking responsibility for what had happened in the past and taking some responsibility for what might happen in the future.
“It’s not foolproof. We spent a lot of time on it and felt that we weren’t being naive in that, ‘We can turn this guy around on a dime and turn him into something that he wasn’t before,’ but I did feel that we could manage it as long as we were communicating with him and being sort of attuned to what was going on.
“We felt we could manage it. It’s possible we wouldn’t be able to but at this point, we don’t have to worry about it.”