Friday’s official cut of ties between the Los Angeles Dodgers and starting pitcher Trevor Bauer was a formality. Trevor Bauer is a former Cy Young Award winner, who was previously suspended for an unprecedented period after sexual assault allegations.
Bauer was designated for assignment. The Dodgers now have until 2 p.m. ET on Thursday to find a trading partner. Bauer will be released unconditionally if they don’t. He’ll be released if he clears them, which is the most likely scenario.
Two weeks ago, an independent arbitrator reduced Bauer’s suspension to 194. The Dodgers made the decision to reinstate Bauer immediately and to reduce his salary for the 50 remaining games of the 2023 season. The Dodgers had a 14-day window to decide whether they would add Bauer to their 40-man roster.
They pushed their decision until Friday’s deadline and ultimately chose a route that was long anticipated. While the Dodgers still owe Bauer $22.5 million for his final season, they would be able to save $720,000 if he was signed by another team in the open market.
The team released a long statement Friday stating that the Dodgers believe that allegations of domestic violence or sexual assault should be investigated thoroughly. “We have cooperated fully with Major League Baseball’s investigation and followed the procedures stipulated by MLB’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Child Abuse Policy.
“Two thorough reviews of all evidence in this case, one by [MLB] Commissioner Rob] Manfred and the other by a neutral arbitrator — determined that Mr. Bauer’s actions justified the longest active player suspension in the sport for violating this policy. After careful consideration and completion of this process, we have decided to remove him from our organization.”
Although it was widely expected that the Dodgers would cut ties to Bauer over the next few months, the time it took to make the decision surprised many in the industry and their fans. The delay may have been partly due to the fact that the arbitrator had announced his decision three days prior to Christmas. Sources claim that the team didn’t expect a decision until mid January at the earliest.
The long process only led to speculation that Bauer might be reinstated by the Dodgers. Sources say that members of the front office reached back to players over the last week to gauge interest in Bauer’s return. On Thursday, Bauer met with the team’s main decision-makers in Arizona. This was their first interaction in 18 months.
Bauer stated in a statement that the Dodgers had expressed an interest in Bauer pitching for them in 2023. This claim was refuted by a source close to the meeting.
Bauer stated that “while we were unable communicate throughout the administrative and arbitration process, my representatives spoke with Dodgers leadership right after the arbitration decision.” After two weeks of discussions about my return to the organization I met with the Dodgers leadership in Arizona yesterday. They told me they wanted me back to pitch for them this year.
“While I am disappointed with the decision of the organization today, I appreciate all the support I have received from the Dodgers clubhouse. I wish all the best to the players and look forward competing elsewhere.
Bauer signed a $32 million, three-year contract with the Dodgers in February 2021. It also included two opt outs. However, he hasn’t pitched since June 28, 20,21.
A then-27-year old San Diego woman filed a request to a domestic violence restraining or (DVRO) the following day. She claimed that Bauer had assaulted her during two sexual encounters at Pasadena, California in April and May. This prompted a lengthy MLB investigation, which put Bauer on administrative leave for the rest of the season.
Bauer, who denied any wrongdoing, won two legal victories after the incident. The first was when an L.A. District Attorney’s Office declined to file criminal charges. Bauer, who has denied wrongdoing at every turn, won two legal victories in the aftermath. First, a L.A. District Attorney’s Office refused to file criminal charges. Two other women made identical allegations to The Washington Post. Manfred has the power to suspend players, even if they’re not accused of a crime. announced that Bauer was suspended for 324 games near the end April. This is twice the duration of the longest punishment under the domestic violence policy.
Martin Scheinman was an independent arbitrator hired by MLB and the MLB Players Association. He spent the next eight months reviewing evidence and listening to testimony, before deciding that Bauer’s suspension would be reduced down to 194 games. 144 of these were served during the grievance procedure. Scheinman basically gave Bauer credit for the time he spent on paid administrative leave during the second half 2021 season. He then reinstated Bauer immediately and left the rest to the Dodgers.
The Dodgers initial statement, “We have just received the arbitrator’s decision and will comment as soon possible” — was strikingly non-committal and consistent with their approach in the past year and a bit.
After MLB placed Bauer on administrative leave, the Dodgers cancelled Bauer’s bobblehead night and took his merchandise out of their stores. Stan Kasten, the team president, sent employees an email in August 2021 while the San Diego woman’s DVRO hearing was going on. He stated that he was “deeply disturbed by the allegations” against Bauer. The team has not commented publicly on the matter except for that email. Sources say that the team has not yet made any public comments about the matter.
The Dodgers cannot access the details of MLB’s investigation or the reasons for the ruling of the arbiter, as per the domestic violence policy.
Bauer was awarded the Golden Spikes Award by UCLA in 2011. The No. 3 pick in the MLB draft that summer was Bauer. After a clash with his Arizona Diamondbacks teammates, he was traded. He was also at the centre of two scandalous incidents in Cleveland. He allegedly cut his finger with a drone just before a 2016 playoff start, and then hurled a baseball over the centerfield fence three days later.
Bauer was a strong candidate for the Cy Young Award in 2018. He also won it with the Cincinnati Reds during COVID-19’s 2020 season. After claiming an elusive championship, the Dodgers signed Bauer later that offseason. They outbid the New York Mets, despite widespread criticism of Bauer’s past history of bullying others via social media. Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers president, baseball operations, spoke out about the organization’s culture, vetting process and said that Bauer had learned from previous mistakes.
Friedman stated that “And you know, we all gonna make errors.” “What is important to me…is how we internalize it and what our thoughts about it going forward. It was important for us to have this conversation. We came out of it feeling positive about it. Time will tell. He is going to be an incredible addition, not only on the field, but also in the clubhouse and in the community. That’s why we’re here.
Bauer had a 2.59 ERA in 17 of his 17 starts. He pitched almost like an ace before being accused of assault. For the remainder of the 2021 season, the team replaced Bauer with Max Scherzer. This star-laden roster helped to achieve a 106-win regular-season.
The Dodgers broke their franchise record in 2001 by winning 111 games, before being defeated by the San Diego Padres. The Dodgers’ inactivity was a result of Bauer’s presence in the offseason.
The board continued to attract top-tier agents, achieving record contracts. While Bauer’s grievance process was underway, the Dodgers, conscious of getting back below the luxury-tax threshold, and uncertain about their payroll, mostly watched them pass by.