LOS ANGELES DODGERS MEDIA CONFERENCE
February 11, 2021
Los Angeles, California, USA
Trevor Bauer Media Conference
MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everybody. Thanks to our amazing fans and our friends in the media for tuning in to announce on this special day our newest Dodger. Let's get started with Dodger president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.
ANDREW FRIEDMAN: Thank you Joe. Thank you everyone for being here virtually for a very exciting day. Couldn't be more excited to be here with Trevor to introduce him to the Dodger fans. You know from our standpoint to add a player of his caliber to the existing roster that we have was something that you know, when the off season started was very much on our mind, but we weren't quite sure how realistic it would be. And so to be sitting here today with the culmination of a lot of work from a lot https://bit.ly/3q8KP8Bof people to be in this position is extremely exciting. I'm sure that there are going to be a lot of questions that we will get to but just want to point out that to access and bring a player of Trevor's caliber to this organization on such a short term basis was something that is rare in baseball without trading a lot of minor league prospects. To be able to keep the talent that we had and add Trevor to it as something that has us really excited. And so with that I would like to introduce the newest Dodger Stadium fit him with a jersey and a hat, Trevor Bauer. Thank you.
TREVOR BAUER: Looks very nice.
DAVE ROBERTS: Right? It's perfect.
TREVOR BAUER: Well, it's been a long time coming. I've been excited for this moment for a good while now. I used to sit in the bleachers right over there as a kid with Vin Scully on the radio and in my headphones and with my dad watching BP at Dodger games and stuff like that. So been a long time Dodger fan couldn't be more excited to be here and with the group that we have and excited to get on the field here shortly and get going. Process took a while but couldn't be happier with how it turned out and excited to get going. So that's what I got.
MODERATOR: Okay. Well we go to Q&A now guys. If you have a question for Trevor, Andrew or Doc, please use the raise hand icon and we'll call on you. Thanks.
Q. Trevor you just mentioned that you were a big Dodger fan growing up. What was the biggest appeal? Outside of the dollars was it the way the Dodgers do things or coming home to pitch? What would you say is at the forefront of this decision for you?
TREVOR BAUER: Honestly the locale didn't play much of a factor as it was all about the organization. The talent level that's here, the organizational structure, the systems that are in place, the people that are here and just yeah, I've talked to a lot of people that have played here.
A lot of people that have played for Doc a lot of people that have played for Andrew and just in general been associate with the Dodger organization and I haven't I haven't heard a single negative thing. Everyone has glowing reviews. A lot of people have told me, you know, if you can if you can play for the Dodgers, you should, it's first class, best that I've ever experienced. So I'm just excited to be here for those reasons excited to be part of the group. Obviously the talent on the field speaks for itself. It's an extremely talented group. Extremely good group of guys by all accounts. And I'm just I'm excited to meet everybody and kind of be in the fold and try to win another World Series.
Q. What was this process like for you the whole free-agent process and were you ever in doubt of not being here?
TREVOR BAUER: The free-agent process was odd for me. That's first time going through it. I didn't really know what to expect. You know, I you kind of go into it with an idea that at some point in the process you'll have like offers on the table where you sit down and say okay, I don't know, let me let me look at the offers and whatever. That played out a lot longer than I guess kind of thought and I really didn't know how it was going to turn out but I did know that I wanted to be on a team that had a chance to win a World Series. I wanted to be on a team that viewed me being there as a partnership that was going to work with me on things. I'm willing to work with them on things and we can come together and do something great. So everything that I was looking for in a home is here, so it's just very, very exciting moment for me. Something that I'm very happy with how it turned out.
Q. Congratulations Trevor and welcome to Los Angeles.
TREVOR BAUER: Thank you. It's great to be here.
Q. How surprised are you and how much did you know about the Dodgers before this deal went down?
TREVOR BAUER: I knew quite a bit actually. I've been friends with Van Scoyoc family for a while. So I've talked to Rob a good amount. I talked to Alex Wood a good amount. Talked to Justin Turner and Walker Buehler. I know quite a few people here. Rob Hill is one of my good friends. He's in the organization. So I've known a lot about kind of what the Dodgers do from kind of the outside looking in. I watch how they perform on the field. I understand some of the cultural things that they have going on. That's kind of where I was coming into the offseason and so as the process went along and just talking with the different people in the organization the different players and stuff like that. It just it was the right. It was the right fit and it became very clear at the end. I wanted to be here and I'm happy that these gentleman next to me wanted me here as well. So it made so much sense at the end. Everything kind of fit together perfectly.
Q. Because the Dodgers won the whole thing last year and added you, is that pressure on you to help them repeat?
TREVOR BAUER: I mean, there's always pressure, there's pressure on everybody and every team especially the World Series champs to come out and do it again. I don't know if it adds any extra pressure to me specifically or not. My focus is always, it's always the same. I want to be the best pitcher I can possibly be. I want to win the most games I possibly can for my team. I want to be a positive member of the clubhouse and positive member of the team and accomplish something great. So I focus on training. I focus on the work that I can put in and being the best that I can be at my job and trying to assist others and how they can be better and be the best at their jobs. So I really don't look at pressure from a standpoint of results. I look at the process and I know I can control the process and how I work and how I go about it and at the end of the day. The results are just a result of the process in my view, so I don't feel a ton of pressure on that front.
Q. Have fun and good luck.
TREVOR BAUER: Thank you very much.
Q. Just wanted from either one of you Andrew or Trevor. If you guys can kind of take us through the timeline of like how this all went down because there was some confusion there on the internet quite a bit about where Trevor was going. Down to the last day who initiated the contact and sort of the timeline of from there?
TREVOR BAUER: I think you can take that one Andrew.
ANDREW FRIEDMAN: Like I mentioned coming into the offseason Trevor was very front and center for us. So we had a few different phone calls and stayed in contact and as we got into, you know, a couple weeks ago things started to pick up and there were days where I felt optimistic and certain days where I didn't. But I think that's the nature of most, if not all, negotiations. From our standpoint I went to bed Thursday night really bummed and thinking that it wasn't going to work out and waking up Friday and continuing the process and having conversations. Our ownership group Mark Walter put some wind behind the sail and said let's go get this done. And so fortunately it wasn't too late and we were able to come to this outcome. Couldn't be more excited about it. But there were definitely times along the way where I wasn't as optimistic. So to be sitting here, obviously in this case, I'll take the result.
TREVOR BAUER: As will I.
Q. Andrew for you, there are some Dodgers fans out there and I've heard from a few thru Twitter and email that are disappointed that you signed Trevor for reasons that have nothing to do with baseball and money, but because of his behavior on social media, views he's represented. Are you worried about the message being sent to fans? What do you say to those fans who might feel alienated and feel like maybe you don't value them?
ANDREW FRIEDMAN: We very much value them. That part is easy. You know, I think hopefully over the last six plus years some trust and credibility has been built up in terms of the research that we do on players and the vetting process that we go through in terms of talking to teammates of players that we're looking at. Talking to clubhouse guys, talking to trainers, you know, we get as much information as we can on players. There's some stuff that's more public with Trevor. That definitely was something that we wanted to dig into. We had multiple conversations with Trevor. Stan and I talked to Trevor. The most important thing is every teammate we talked to all the feedback we got from every organization he was with was not only incredibly positive in terms of the type of teammate he is but also in terms of the impact he makes on each organization. And so that to me, I think the talent is pretty obvious, but I actually think that like from a cultural standpoint, from a continuing to strive to get better at everything we do, I actually think he is going to be a tremendous asset in that.
It's not for me to speak for Trevor, but in our conversations, he's alluded to past mistakes he's made. And you know what? We're all going to make mistakes and what's important for me is how people including myself, when I make mistakes, it's how we internalize it and what our thoughts are about it going forward. From our standpoint, it was important to have that conversation and we came away from it feeling good about it. Now, obviously time will tell but I feel like he is going to be a tremendous add not just on the field but in the clubhouse, in the community, and that's obviously why we're sitting here.
Q. Yeah, I'll hold my question for a second Trevor if you want to address that topic at all.
TREVOR BAUER: I think Andrew said it best. Everyone makes mistakes in the past. I've tried to learn from them. I try to learn as quickly as I possibly can try to understand other people's viewpoints on things and be better in the future. I think if you look at my history as a baseball player, my history on social media, my history as a person, for those who know me well, they'll see that I apply that process to everything that I do. I'm committed to doing that moving forward as well and ultimately I'm here to be a positive impact on anyone that I can be both in the community, in the clubhouse, on the field, at the stadium, whatever the case is. So I'm excited to be here. I'm excited to win with this group. I'm excited to interact to the Dodger fans and the community of LA. I grew up here. I've been a long time, I've spent 20 years here before I signed professionally. My parents are still here. I'm a member of the community. I still consider myself a member of the community and I look forward to having a positive impact on the community.
Q. Most free agents in your situation this winter would have been looking for I guess they would call it security and the longest contract they could possibly get. You obviously took a different approach. Why was the shorter deal with opt-outs so attractive to you?
TREVOR BAUER: I want to be a member of a winning team. I want to be a member of an organization that values me and that I value them. Like I said, I've said it a lot this entire process. I'm looking for a partnership. I want a chance to win and I don't want to be a player that signs a long-term deal and towards the end is resented either by the fan base, by the organization, or on my end for having my performance slip below what my contract dictates. So I wanted something with flexibility. I wanted something that worked for me and for the organization. And as far as security goes, I'm well aware of the fact that I'm very well compensated. I'm plenty secure and my life, my family's life, my kid's life everything in the future. So it wasn't about the money for me. It's about being a part of something that's bigger than myself. Being a part of an organization that can win. I want to win a World Series. I've come in second both in college and in the big leagues, I'm tired of it. I want to come in first.
Q. For Andrew, why was such a bold move the move to make when you have, you know, a World Series roster coming back and a starting rotation that was basically the best in the National League already?
ANDREW FRIEDMAN: Well, I mean, I think heading into 2021 there are a lot of unknowns and you know kind of front and center for us on that is our pitching depth. We feel really good. Now we feel like we've got seven proven Major League starters that we're not sure exactly how things are going to shake out on April 1st, but couldn't feel more confident that they're going to help us throughout the year and also through October. Adding to our pitching depth was something that was really important to us just with all the unknowns going from a 60 game season back to 162 games. As talented as Trevor is, the durability is just as impressive. The fact that he's been able to take the ball every fifth day much to his chagrin not every fourth day, but it's not to be understated in this. Yeah, I think people focus on the talent as they should but his ability to take the ball every turn is really impactful. So for us as we are looking to navigate the unknown and all that comes with that, adding to our pitching depth was something that was important to us. That being said because of the talent we had it was a really high bar to crack to get in there and you know, so there were very few players that kind of fit into that which is why Trevor was kind of on our radar throughout the winter. I think over the last few years people have gotten more of a sense. We run our payroll looking at it over three, four, five years not in any one moment in time. And so past moves have created some flexibility, you know things that will happen in the future. For us it's about doing everything we can to go out and defend our title and hopefully this time we can do it with fans in the stands here at Dodger Stadium.
Q. Did the moves the Padres made this winter motivate you at all in the moves that you made?
ANDREW FRIEDMAN: It's hard to say. I mean, obviously we've noticed. We think there are really talented team. That being said, we're pretty intrinsically motivated to be as good as we can be but yeah, we've definitely noticed. Last year was a good little battle between us and we anticipate that's going to be the case going forward. You know, just digging through some Trevor Bauer YouTube videos with my son, we came across one with a bout between him and Manny Machado. So we're going to have to spend some time in spring training talking through that but no we feel like they're a really good team and we're looking forward to you know, the series coming up this year and we've definitely noticed what they've done and we're going to do everything we can to maintain our position.
Q. Trevor going back to this Social Media stuff, you know two of the more kind of high-profile incidents, you know, that caused controversy involved women who felt, they were being harassed and you know, and I've read obviously your explanations or defenses of this thing, you know, I know in one case you just said you're hey, I was defending myself, you know in the second case involving the reporter from the New York Daily News. You said I can't really be responsible for the actions of my followers and what they might do. And just kind of wondering when you talk about you know, how you learn from your mistakes. I'm just wondering if you and those two particular instances if you could talk about I guess what you learned and you know how you might have been wrong in those instances.
TREVOR BAUER: Like I'm not going to go into specifics on everything all the conversations that I've had with people across all walks of life over the past couple years and all the things that I've learned. I can say that I've learned from those. I've done a lot of, spent a lot of my time going and talking to people to try and understand other perspectives. I'm doing my best to be better as I do in all walks of my life. So I don't think that it makes any sense to dive into specific issues in this forum. But I am committed to being a good, being better on social media, being better on the field, being better in the clubhouse, being better in life in general. And as I stated earlier, I'm excited to be part of community. I'm excited to work with a community. I'm excited to be part of an organization that's here to win and here to make a positive impact in people's lives.
Q. Trevor, you've talked in your videos about you know wanting to have a conversation about pitching every fourth day. Andrew alluded to it. Have you had that conversation? Was that part of your process in talking to the Dodgers? And how did that go?
TREVOR BAUER: No, we haven't had that conversation. Yeah, we did have a conversation about it and my point was that you know, I just want someone to be open to hearing what I have to say. So that's really the extent of to which we've talked about it. I imagine in spring training or some point in the future we'll have a more in-depth conversation about it, which I look forward to but again, it's not a selfish, me wanting to pitch every fourth day is not a selfish thing. I have a lot of reasons behind why I feel like I would be a better pitcher doing that which would help the team and how it may help other players in the organization and on the team as well. Now, I don't make those decisions obviously, but I've spent a lot of time over the past three years thinking about it and thinking through all the different ramifications of it. So, that's really again going back to the partnership thing that I keep mentioning just having someone that's willing to listen to that and just have an honest conversation whether the result is what I want or not. Just the open-mindedness to having that conversation is important to me.
Q. You mentioned, you know being in the bleachers and you know watching games listening to Vin. How much did you imagine yourself in a Dodger jersey, during that time growing up and what's that realization feeling like now?
TREVOR BAUER: Yeah, it was hard to imagine myself from the Dodger jersey because sitting in the stands you look out there and the players on the field are, they're superstars. Because as a kid you look out there and I thought if I could ever be even close to that, that'd be awesome. I wonder what the lifestyles like, I wonder what you know, what being on the field is like in front of 50,000 fans. I wonder what all that's like and they almost take on, as a kid, they take on an almost like an alien or a foreign kind of being because it's not a reality in my life at that point. Now being here it's just it's a really surreal thing looking, you know sitting on the field and looking out at the stands as opposed to sitting in the stands looking out on the field. Really one of the things that I'm most passionate about is trying to provide that same type of inspiration that same type of kind of wide-eyed wonder that for the kids that are watching me play so that it inspires them to go out and play baseball and to love the game that's given me so much. Both in my personal life, professional life family life, you know all around. I really want to inspire kids to get involved with baseball on to come out to the game and to try to be big Leaguers and chase their dreams. So it's a surreal moment for me and something that I am very proud of, being able to sit here on this field and you know in the same place, I would come two times a year and watch all the all the Dodger games. So it's a pretty, it's pretty surreal for me right now.
Q. Hey Trevor, you've spoken in the past about the importance of the analytical resources that a team makes available to you being a separator in today's game. What specifically about the Dodgers and how they use analytics to help pitchers really impressed you during this process?
TREVOR BAUER: Well without going into any specifics, which I think is best kept in house.
ANDREW FRIEDMAN: We're going to cut your mic.
TREVOR BAUER: Yeah, the way everything's integrated. The systems that are in place is really impressive. The technology is what it is, but if you can't interpret the information or if you can't interpret the analytics in a way that's usable for players it doesn't really do a whole lot of good. So, in all the conversations that we had just the way that the medical staff is integrated with the on field staff is integrated with the training staff and the you know, it's all the way all the way through the organization the simple ways that complex information can be communicated is really impressive. I certainly don't know, I'm sure I just know the very tip of the iceberg I guess on what's actually available given that I've only I've been a member of the organization officially now for 30 minutes something like that. So a lot more to dive into for sure which I'm excited about but just can't really speak enough to how well everything's integrated and the people that are here communicating that information.
Q. Trevor I'm wondering if you could take me through that Friday morning that I think you alluded to on social media. You said there was about like a five-hour period of indecisiveness. Where was your head at? Who did you speak with? How did that process play out? And what ultimately nudged you to thinking about it?
TREVOR BAUER: Yeah. I woke up at 6 a.m. to phone calls from my agent Rachel and John. Hey, this thing changed, what do you think about this? This thing changed? This person said this what do you think about that? Hey get your financial guy on the line. What are the tax ramifications? Hey get that. Let's talk to your dad about this. I was with my mom. I was in Northern California at the time and my mom was with me. My dad was down here in Southern California. So it's like okay, let me call Dad and so I'm on the phone with that and I'm getting a call from John. Let me hop off that I'll call you right back. Okay? Well John's going to merge in Rachel. Okay, so it was a very crazy time. Things happening very quickly, and I honestly don't remember a whole lot of it. I think I got some of it. It on my Vlog camera, so I'll probably have to go back and re-watch that because there's such a whirlwind, but obviously very happy with how everything played out.
Q. Do you remember though what it was it just decided it for you?
TREVOR BAUER: Oh, yeah, ultimately. It's just it's the people, it's the organization, the culture the chance to win and just kind of everything I've mentioned so far. The way that the organization went about the whole process I felt was very respectful of me and my wishes. Hopefully they felt the same on our end and just the partnership idea trying to work together finding solutions that work for both sides. Even in the negotiation process. So the chance to win, the culture of the people, the way everything's integrated, the systems that are built, the way that the organization handled everything. All of that played a factor.
Q. Andrew does the signing of Trevor reduce or affect the chances of maybe re-signing Justin Turner or you know change how you might approach the rest of the offseason when it comes to addressing any other areas of the roster.
ANDREW FRIEDMAN: The simple answer is no. I think we're committed to doing everything we can to put together the best roster that we can. Obviously it's difficult for me to comment on a specific free agent. But I think it's pretty well documented what we think of JT, what he's meant to this organization. But as far as how that's going to play out, we will see. At every turn in the six plus years I've been here, you know ownership has been incredibly supportive of doing everything we can to win and to reward the amazing fans that we have. To bring a world championship back to LA which had been a long time coming. And now their mind says, let's do it again and let's flip the switch and have the mindset of repeating. Obviously the action of this speaks to that. But you know, I think it's difficult at any one moment in time to look at our payroll and to deduce too much from it in that, you know, we've talked about this a lot. It is a three to five-year kind of process that we look at. The ebbs and flows of that but the thing that has been constant throughout is winning. And so that's where our mindset still is and we'll see how that plays out.
Q. Hey Trevor, what happened with Dodger fans at your hotel and house since last Friday that you felt the need to draw a boundary with them from message on social media?
TREVOR BAUER: I was walking through the hotel lobby getting on the elevator to go up to my room and had someone, an excited fan, follow me and even up to the elevator asking me to sign. I told him, you know, I'm in my private, you know my place of residence. I'm not going to sign at the hotel. If you see me outside of the Hotel and public feel free to come up and ask and I'd be happy to sign but at the hotel it's my place of residence and I'm not going to sign. The individual continued to ask and press and follow me. So I said, hey, can you please have some respect for my personal space? I am trying to be respectful of you and everything, but please have some respect for me at my hotel. He continued to follow me up until the point where I was getting on the elevator. He was right outside the elevator, you know, continuing to ask me and press me for a signature.
I want to reiterate that I really enjoy interacting with the fans. I love signing for fans. I do so at the stadium when fans are allowed in basically every game. I do so outside of the stadium. I love seeing fans in public. I do just think there needs to be a little bit of respect for personal space when someone's at their place of residence just as human beings, you know, someone says, hey not right now. I'm eating or I'm you know at my house or whatever the case is just to have a little bit of respect and understand that we are people too. I do my best to sign for everybody and interact with the fans in every way possible. I have a lot of really fun ideas that I can't wait to do this season to interact with community and interact with Dodger fans, and I promise that I'll be signing plenty, but I think there needs to be a little bit of a little bit of personal respect for personal space and especially at someone's place of residence.
Q. Just a follow-up. There were a lot of Mets fans that last Friday thought you were going to New York was it just wasn't a matter of someone on your team pushed the wrong button that led them to think that?
TREVOR BAUER: Yeah. I put out a statement on social media. So I guess I'll just refer you to that. I tried to explain everything as well as possible. I tried to spend a little bit of time getting to know exactly what happened and talking to different people. Certainly was a mistake. I was not trying to, I was not trying to lead any fan base on or anybody false hope. Something went out before I had made any decision, so I guess I would refer you to my social media post for more on that.
Q. Belaboring the internet point, you've said in the past that you're online actions probably aren't smart, aren't ideal. You've also said if someone comes at you, you will fight back. When you say you have worked and are working on being better. Do you mean you plan to stop fighting back as you put it?
TREVOR BAUER: I've made mistakes in the past as I've said, I've also referenced talking to a lot of different people and trying to understand different perspectives on it. I continued to do that. I don't think that this is the forum to go into specifics on how that will happen. I think it's a very nuanced issue. All I can say is that I'm committed to being a member of, a positive member of the community, impact in people's lives in a positive way and winning with this organization. I think that's what today's about on my end, is trying to be involved in all the different ways that I can be, in a positive manner both on the field and the community and in the clubhouse.
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