Trigger warning – sexual abuse content
A decision has finally been made in the Trevor Bauer case. On Friday afternoon, the Los Angeles Dodgers designated Bauer for assignment. They will now have seven days to trade him or release him from the organization. His time with the Dodgers organization has come to an end.
The team put out this statement when their decision was announced –
The decision had been a long time coming. Bauer, 31, was signed to a three-year, $102M deal by the Dodgers in 2021. He pitched in only 17 games for the Dodgers, going 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA.
His season was ended in June 2021 when multiple sexual abuse allegations were made against him. On July 2, 2021, the league suspended him, incremental weeks at a time, while they investigated the allegations.
Three women in total came out accusing the bombastic pitcher of abuse during their sexual encounters. Bauer maintained that it was all consensual, even though recordings of him seem to prove otherwise.
After almost a year, on April 29, 2022, the league finally made a decision and suspended the right hander for 324 games. It was the longest non-lifetime suspension ever handed down by Major League Baseball.
On December 22, that suspension was reduced to 194 games by an independent arbitrator, which meant that Bauer would eligible to return to pitch in the Majors in 2023. The Dodgers then had two weeks to decide whether they were going to honor the last year of Bauer’s contract, try to trade him, or release him.
Lets be clear – this reduction in time of suspension in no way vindicates Bauer. In fact, the arbitrator affirmed that Bauer did indeed violate the league’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy, and did indeed deserve to be suspended. The full details of the investigation will not be released to the public.
The Dodgers are still on the hook for $22.5M. Bauer is free to sign with any other team for the league minimum $750,000 after his suspension is completed, 50 games into the 2023 season.
There are reports that the Dodgers tried to trade Bauer in the last two weeks, but there wasn’t much interest from other teams in that department.
For his part, Bauer released this statement after the announcement –
Thus ends the much maligned association between the Dodgers and Bauer. The front office stated they had had many conversations with Bauer about changing his ways, not doing things to be a distraction to the team on and off the field. However, sexual assault allegations are way above and beyond any stupid drone incident or chucking a ball into centerfield in a tantrum on the field.
Hopefully now the Dodgers can move on and focus on the 2023 season, in their quest to work their way back to the World Series.