Trevor Bauer is ready to bet on himself until the day he hangs 'em up.
Just a few days after defeating his team in a contentious arbitration hearing, the outspoken Cleveland Indians right-hander shared a rather outside-the-box idea, stating he'll only sign one-year contracts during the remainder of his career in order to get paid what he's worth on an annual basis.
"I'll go year-to-year my entire career," Bauer told Bob Nightengale of USA Today. "Why would you lock yourself in a situation that may not make you happy? I think that's highly inefficient. Everybody is afraid of risk. Everyone is scared.
"It's still unproven how clubs feel about it, but looking at the market, and studying it, I identified for myself personally that it's the best route to go forward."
Bauer's unique proposal comes amid a slowed-down free-agent market that has left a bevy of star players - including Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Dallas Keuchel, and Craig Kimbrel - without new long-term contracts amid spring training opening this week.
Many players who are employed have expressed their displeasure with the state of the market. Three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer, a longtime teammate of Harper's in Washington, said that the current situation "poisons the game," while veteran Phillies reliever Pat Neshek stated that the players signed a bad collective bargaining agreement.
Bauer, who will earn $13 million in 2019 and won't become a free agent until after the 2020 season, sees his year-by-year approach as a viable solution to spur the stagnant market.
"How much would Bryce Harper be worth on a one-year deal?" Bauer explained. "Or Dallas Keuchel. How much would Max Scherzer be worth last year to the Brewers who were one game away from the World Series and needed an ace.
"If players are willing to take more risk and shorter term, they can really drive the value up. I can't imagine a team wouldn't pay $40 million for a year for Harper, Machado, or Scherzer."