Dodgers Rumors: Front Office Considered Keeping Trevor Bauer Over Fear Of ‘Competitive Disadvantage’

The Los Angeles Dodgers were given two weeks to make a decision on Trevor Bauer after arbitrator Martin F. Scheinman reduced MLB’s record suspension from 324 games to 194 and immediately reinstated him from the restricted list.

While there were conflicting reports on how they may proceed, the Dodgers ultimately designated Bauer for assignment. They now have until Thursday to potentially trade the right-hander, or else he will be placed on unconditional release waivers and become a free agent January 13 if unclaimed.

Regardless of what happens, the Dodgers will be on the hook to pay Bauer next season. If he signs with a new team, presumably for the league minimum ($720,000), the amount will be deducted from the $22.5 million salary L.A. currently owes him.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Dodgers used the entire timeline for their decision to part with Bauer over fears of him possibly going on to join another team:

Even when they released him, they delayed their decision practically to the last minute as they fretted over the potential competitive disadvantage, according to sources briefed on their thinking but not authorized to speak on the matter publicly.

Given his track record on the mound and the fact that he’s only entering his age-32 season, it isn’t out of the realm that Bauer will sign with another club in the coming weeks. However, that team would have to weigh the pros and cons of adding him — even if it comes at a discounted rate.

The San Diego Padres, a team that would benefit from adding a starting pitcher, reportedly do not have interest in signing Bauer.

The Dodgers signed Bauer to a three-year, $102 million contract in February 2021 and he wound up making just 17 starts before being placed on paid administrative leave amid sexual assault allegations.

The 31-year-old went 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA, 4.03 FIP and 1.00 WHIP across 107.2 innings pitched for the team.

Trevor Bauer statement alleges Dodgers wanted him back on roster

Following the Dodgers’ announcement of their intent to move on from Bauer, his agent Rachel Luba and attorneys Jon Fetterolf and Shawn Holley released a statement claiming the Dodgers told the 2020 National League Cy Young Award winner they wanted him to pitch for them this year, and that he received support from players in the clubhouse.

“While we were unable to communicate throughout the administrative leave and arbitration process, my representatives spoke to Dodgers leadership immediately following the arbitration decision,” Bauer said in the shared statement.

“Following two weeks of conversations around my return to the organization, I sat down with Dodgers leadership in Arizona yesterday who told me that they wanted me to return and pitch for the team this year.

“While I am disappointed by the organization’s decision today, I appreciate the wealth of support I’ve received from the Dodgers clubhouse. I wish the players all the best and look forward to competing elsewhere.”

Although not on the record, representatives of the Dodgers refuted the notion that Bauer was given such a message.

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