Spring Training hasn't even started yet, but Trevor Bauer has earned his first victory of 2019.
According to multiple reports, including one from ESPN's Jeff Passan, the Cleveland Indians starting pitcher has won his arbitration case against the team, setting his salary for the upcoming campaign. Bauer had proposed a $13 million salary for 2019, with the Indians countering with an $11 million proposal.
Arbiters sided with the 28-year-old Bauer, who will now make $13 million. Moments after his arbitration victory was first reported, he took to Twitter to congratulate Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole and Reds pitcher Alex Wood, who each also earned arbitration victories.
Bauer's new salary comes after a career season, in which he amassed a 12-6 record, to go along with a 2.21 earned run average 221 strikeouts -- both career bests. On multiple occasions, Bauer has stated he believes he could have won the American League Cy Young Award if not for the stress fracture in his right fibula he suffered after being struck by a line drive in Aug.
After being injured on Aug. 11, Bauer didn't return to action until Sept. 21 before ultimately serving in a bullpen capacity throughout the American League Division Series three-game sweep the Indians suffered at the hands of the Houston Astros.
This marks the second straight offseason Bauer has won a salary arbitration. Last year, he was awarded $6.525 million -- a figure higher than the $6,420,969.69 he initially proposed.
With the extra $104,000 he was granted the polarizing pitcher launched a '69 days of giving' campaign in which he donated $420.69 to different charities over a 69-day span.
One would imagine that by this point, Bauer would be interested in signing a long-term contract with Cleveland, but that's not the case. Last year, he revealed on the Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast that he plans on signing one-year deals for the rest of his career after making a bet in which his best friend would get to shoot him in the groin with a paintball gun from 10 feet away if he ever signed a multiyear deal.
Fortunately for Bauer -- and his groin -- his wager on himself is paying off.