Bauer, 28, has spent the past few seasons at Barrow Raiders, helping them to the Championship trophy in 2009, and had been training with the Raiders in pre-season in a bid to win a new contract at Craven Park.
However, he was released from the club last week after failing to impress new coach Garry Schofield, and has now hooked up with fellow Cumbrians Whitehaven.
Whitehaven, who will start the new season on minus nine points after entering administration at the end of the last campaign, have also re-signed playmaker Carl Rudd.
The Cumbrians get their Northern Rail Cup campaign underway tonight, Tuesday, against local rivals Workington. The game was postponed on Sunday due to a waterlogged pitch, and all fans under the age of 16 are permitted free entry, alongside a paying adult.