Trevor Bauer last pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 28 as he then was placed on administrative leave amid sexual assault allegations. Pasadena Police turned their findings over to the L.A. County District Attorney’s office, while MLB is still conducting their probe.
Bauer’s leave was extended nine times, with the final instance running through completion of the World Series. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has yet to impose a potential punishment, and investigators reportedly still haven’t interviewed Bauer.
Although Bauer remained out of the picture for the second half of the season and faces some uncertainty moving forward, a decision was required on his player option for 2022. It was previously reported Bauer would decline the chance to become a free agent.
According to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, Bauer was among the players who exercised a player option to remain under contract:
Right-hander Trevor Bauer, third baseman Nolan Arenado, outfielder Charlie Blackmon and infielder-outfielder Jurickson Profar declined to opt out of their contracts to become free agents.
When the Dodgers signed Bauer to a record-setting three-year contract the general assumption was he would remain with the team for at least the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
Bauer’s deal included a $28 million salary for this past season and ability to opt out after the campaign. Doing so would amount to receiving a $2 million buyout, but give the Dodgers an option to defer $20 million from his 2021 salary without interest and pay it in $2 million installments every Dec. 1 from 2031-40.
Instead, Bauer is now due to receive a lump sum of $20 million at the end of November.
Should the right-hander remain in position to do so, opting out after the 2022 season would require the Dodgers to pay a $15 million buyout. Bauer is due to earn $32 million next year and in 2023.
Friedman: Dodgers uncertain of Bauer’s future
Although Bauer has decided to remain under contract with the Dodgers for next year, whether that becomes a reality is unclear.
“It’s no different than where we were in July, August and September,” answered president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman when asked if Bauer would pitch for the Dodgers again.
“From our standpoint, it’s being handled by the league office. As soon as something is decided, obviously we will come down and talk through it extensively with you guys. But until that happens, we have to reserve comment.”
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