Arbitrator Martin F. Scheinman reduced MLB’s suspension of Trevor Bauer from 324 games to 194 and reinstated him from the restricted list effective immediately, which now puts the Los Angeles Dodgers in position to decide his future with the team. Bauer was reinstated despite having only served 144 games of a suspension.
MLB levied the record suspension amid sexual assault allegations that were brought forth against Bauer during the 2021 season, his first with the Dodgers. Bauer was put on paid administrative leave at the beginning of July that year, and it was extended throughout the season. MLB imposed Bauer’s suspension in April of this year, which he immediately appealed.
The L.A. District Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute Bauer, though MLB commissioner Rob Manfred retained the authority to hand down a suspension.
“Today, the neutral arbitrator selected by MLB and the MLBPA affirmed that Trevor Bauer violated Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy,” the league said in a statement.
“After an exhaustive review of the available evidence the neutral arbitrator upheld an unpaid suspension of 194 games. As part of the decision, the arbitrator reinstated Mr. Bauer effectively immediately, with a loss of pay covering the 144 games he was suspended during the 2022 season.
“In addition, the arbitrator docked Bauer’s salary for the first 50 games of the 2023 season (i.e., the period covering March 30, 2023 to May 23, 2023). While we believe a longer suspension was warranted, MLB will abide by the neutral arbitrator’s decision, which upholds baseball’s longest-ever active player suspension for sexual assault or domestic violence.
“We understand this process was difficult for the witnesses involved and we thank them for their participation. Due to the collectively bargained confidentiality provisions of the joint program, we are unable to provide further details at this time.”
Scheinman is an independent arbitrator who is retained by MLB and the Players Association.
Even with Bauer’s appeal successful, the 194-game suspension represents the longest ever handed down under MLB’s joint domestic violence and sexual assault policy.
What money do Dodgers owe Trevor Bauer?
Even with a portion of Bauer’s salary for the 2023 season docked, the Dodgers must pay an estimated $22 million to the right-hander next year. That would be owed whether or not Bauer remains with the Dodgers.
The Dodgers have until January 6, 2023 to decide whether or not to reinstate Bauer to their 40-man roster. Should they elect against doing so, he would be released and immediately become a free agent.
The Dodgers signed Bauer to a three-year, $102 million contract in February 2021 that included an opt-out clause after the first two seasons.
“We have just been informed of the arbitrator’s ruling and will comment as soon as practical,” the Dodgers said in a statement after the arbitrator issued his ruling on Bauer’s suspension.
There is a belief the Dodgers have decided to release Bauer despite not yet formally announcing as much.
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