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2:05pm: Bauer and the Dodgers agreed to a three-year deal with opt-out provisions after year one and year two of the contract, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports. MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand adds that Bauer is guaranteed a total of $102MM on the deal, which includes a $40MM salary in 2021 and a $45MM salary in 2022. Both marks establish new records for the highest single-season salary, though the contract’s overall $34MM average annual value is still a bit shy of Gerrit Cole’s record $36MM.

1:48pm: The Dodgers have agreed to a deal with top free agent starter Trevor Bauer, reports MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (via Twitter). Bauer himself has confirmed the signing on YouTube. The Mets offered Bauer more than the Dodgers did in the end, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets, but the Santa Clarita native and UCLA product was drawn both to Southern California, the opportunity to help defend a World Series championship and to the Dodgers’ technologically and data-driven pitching shop, per Sherman.

By landing Bauer, the Dodgers will be able to boast one of the more imposing rotations in recent memory. The reigning NL Cy Young winner will join a starting staff that already includes Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urias and David Price, with youngsters Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin available to soak up some innings as well as the club tries to manage workloads after a shortened 2020 schedule.

The Bauer contract will send the Dodgers skyrocketing past the $210MM luxury-tax barrier, making them the lone club in baseball this winter that has been willing to surpass that mark. While many owners have treated that threshold as a salary cap, the reality is that the Dodgers’ penalty for signing Bauer won’t be particularly heavy. They’d dipped south of the luxury line in 2019 and 2020, so they’ll be considered a first-time offender.

The Dodgers owe a 20 percent tax on the first $20MM by which they exceed the $210MM mark and a 32 percent tax on the next $20MM. Roster Resource’s Jason Martinez projects the team’s luxury obligations at roughly $239.5MM — meaning the Dodgers’ tax penalty, at present, will be a hair north of $7MM. That’s assuming no further additions or subtractions to the payroll, of course, but it’s certainly possible they could look for some creative trades to alter that financial outlook — particularly if they still hope to bring back franchise cornerstone Justin Turner.

More to come.

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