Trevor Bauer plans on signing one-year contracts every offseason of his career.
He has two more years of arbitration before he's a free agent, but he plans on taking things one year at a time until he calls it quits. For a player as good and as young as Bauer—a 27-year-old coming off a 17-win season—who also happens to be playing for a contending team, this seems like a bizarre move. There's a level of security that comes with multi-year contracts that Bauer has decided to forgo throughout his career for no good reason.
Well, some might consider his reason for only taking one-year deals a good one. As the Indians starter explained on the Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast, about a year or two after he was taken with the No. 3 pick in the 2011 draft by the Diamondbacks, Bauer made a bet with his best friend about his future Big League contracts.
In a completely sober state, Bauer bet that he would never sign a multi-year contract, or his friend could shoot him in the groin with a paintball gun ... from 10 feet away.
You can hear Bauer explain it all below.
So in addition to having a bet that he will never sign a multi-year deal, Bauer also has a bet that he described a little earlier in the podcast that he will not have kids or get married until he is 45 if he does not win the Cy Young three times.
Bauer also provided further detail about how he is managing his money well enough through various ways that he does not need to worry about the additional financial security that comes with a multi-year deal. He broke down how by the time he finishes arbitration he will likely have made more than $40 million in MLB salary, so if he continues to pitch at a level similar to that for a few years out of arbitration, he could certainly still rack up enough money to be more than fine for his entire life, especially since he doesn't have a family to support yet.
It's still just a curious move for a guy who was barely into his professional baseball career to decide he would handicap his earning potential to avoid getting shot in the groin, because of a pride bet. As long as Bauer continues to maintain a 2.45 ERA, a 1.088 WHIP and a MLB-best 2.16 FIP, he can at least take pride in his pitching, especially if his bets end up being a bigger hindrance to his life than he expects them to be.