MLB Suspends Trevor Bauer for Two Full Seasons

Commissioner Rob Manfred and the MLB on Friday finally issued a decision surrounding the future of Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer — a 324-game suspension equivalent to two full regular seasons.

The 31-year-old Bauer was accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a case that authorities began investigating last spring. A Los Angeles County judge denied the assault victim a restraining order from Bauer last August, and the District Attorney’s office ultimately decide against filing charges against Bauer in February. At that point, many fans thought a potential suspension would be minimal since the righty pitcher wouldn’t be arrested.

However, the MLB has the power to suspend players without a criminal conviction based on its own independent investigation. Those familiar with the case believe the league also took into consideration of a separate case that occurred previously with a woman from Ohio.

Regardless, the punishment is the most severe the league has ever handed out under its domestic violence policy.

Not long after the league announced the decision, Bauer quickly released a statement that he was planning to appeal the punishment.

“In the strongest possible terms, I deny committing any violation of the league’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy,” Bauer wrote in his statement. “I am appealing this action and expect to prevail. As we have throughout this process, my representatives and I respect the confidentiality of the proceedings.”

The Dodgers immediately followed with a statement of their own:

“Today we were informed that MLB has concluded its investigation into allegations that have been made against Trevor Bauer, and the Commissioner has issued his decision regarding discipline. The Dodgers organization takes all allegations of this nature very seriously and does not condone or excuse any acts of domestic violence or sexual assault.”

The statement continued, “We’ve cooperated fully with MLB’s investigation since it began, and we fully support MLB’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Child Abuse Policy, and the Commissioner’s enforcement of the Policy. We understand that Trevor has the right to appeal the Commissioner’s decision. Therefore, we will not comment further until the process is complete.”

If Bauer’s suspension holds through the appeal process, it would last until the 19th game of the 2024 season. At that point, his three-year contract with the Dodgers will have expired. The Dodgers will not be paying Bauer, who stands to lose around $28 million this year and $32 million next year.

While he is suspended, Bauer will not be able to report to the team unless an arbitrator decides that his appeal is successful.

MLB announced the suspension with a short statement that did not provide any clarification with the decision, saying: “In accordance with the terms of the Policy, the Commissioner’s Office will not issue any further statements at this point in time.”

Bauer last pitched for the team on June 28 of last year.

11 thoughts on “MLB Suspends Trevor Bauer for Two Full Seasons

  1. Until the arbitrator rules, we still really don’t have any closure on this.
    He could let the penalty stand, reduce it, or throw it out altogether.
    Whatever happens, I hope it happens quickly.

    1. You know it won’t happen quickly if Manfred is involved in any capacity. However, maybe the speed of the process will change since Bauer is now technically off the payroll.

  2. Off the payroll has a wonderful ring to it…Bauer is out 60 million. I would be screaming denials too if I was losing that much cash…Dodgers now have some room in their budget. I imagine this is what the Dodgers suspected was going to happen. There had to be a back channel from the MLB telling them he was going to be suspended. Makes the Freeman signing much more affordable.

    1. Nothing matters until the arbitrator comes down with a ruling.
      Just found this on Sportico: “Bauer can appeal and have an arbitration panel review the penalty. The panel would consist of three persons, one picked by the league, one picked by the MLBPA and one picked jointly by the league and union. They would focus on two considerations. First, whether Manfred possessed “just cause” in finding Bauer at fault and, second, whether the suspension’s length is appropriate or excessive.”

      1. So you u are saying its not off the books? The League and the MLBPA must have agreed on this or Manfred would not have done it. So you have two votes on the suspend side to start is the way I look at it. The Players do not want the abuse thing splashed on them. Do you agree? My understanding was the money is off the books until its overturned. Once the suspend was announced do you think the public would not be upset if a arbitration panel reversed? The time to let him go was before the decision as everyone had the fatigue from waiting for a decision. I thought they would announce during the NFL draft and let him do time served. The fact they give him a 2 year suspend tells me there was a lot more evidence than we the public knows.

      2. I think it’s 3 willing to testify. Not sure the count on women that were interviewed and made a statement. Manfred and the league could have decided time served. I do not believe they think the decision will be overturned. Unless they wanted to appear tough and be able to point at the arbitration board as overturning their decision? But that’s more cynical than I should be perhaps 🤔

      3. Your cynicism may be well founded; however with 3 women now accusing him (and possibly more who haven’t come out yet publicly), that might be at the root of the very long suspension.

      4. I’m saying that it’s off the books as of today (Dodgers are still responsible for past salary before today); however………….and it’s a big however, the arbitration panel can adjust the suspension. So for the team to say “Whoopee! We don’t have to pay Bauer any more money” is a bit premature.

        Although the league and the union had to agree to suspend him with pay, I don’t believe the league needs the union’s agreement to assess the penalty. So my feeling is that, at this point, they only have one out of the three votes. I’m not at all sure that Manfred discussed the length of the suspension with the union before he announced it.

      5. As low as my respect is for Manfred I cannot think of a scenario that he doesn’t get the Unions buy-in. It would be beyond stupid to decide in a vacuum. I do have a skeptical cynical side that says it would be a great way for him to appear tough etc and let the absolution by the arbitration board be his way to get out of making an unpopular decision by giving Bauer time served. But the league and players have been united on the very bad press of abusive guys running amok. Its bad press, bad business. No one wants to disturb the Billion dollar baseball money machine.

  3. I agree with Tmax. MLB has had months to put this together. The only counter scenario is, as Tmax just stated, they came down heavy handed to send a clear message, but can then have an actual compromise in arbitration. Bauer may not be guilty of a crime, but he’s guilty of several incidents of bad judgment going back to his college days and it sure feels like everyone has had it with this guy. Both Dylan Hernandez and Bill Plaschke spoke to this point in their columns today.

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