The Trevor Bauer saga reached some finality on Friday with the Los Angeles Dodgers designating the right-hander for assignment. The Dodgers faced an end-of-day deadline to make a decision on the polarizing starter, and now have seven days to potentially trade him.
“The Dodgers organization believes that allegations of sexual assault or domestic violence should be thoroughly investigated, with due process given to the accused,” the team said in a statement.
“From the beginning, we have fully cooperated with Major League Baseball’s investigation and strictly followed the process stipulated under MLB’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy.
“Two extensive reviews of all the available evidence in this case – one by Commissioner Manfred and another by a neutral arbitrator – concluded that Mr. Bauer’s actions warranted the longest ever active player suspension in our sport for violations of this policy. Now that this process has been completed, and after careful consideration, we have decided that he will no longer be part of our organization.”
If the Dodgers did not release Bauer, they would have been required to add him back onto their 40-man roster. Doing so would have suggested he potentially had a future with the team, or was a candidate to get traded.
Last April, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred suspended Bauer 324 games for violating the league’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy. Bauer appealed the suspension, which an independent arbitrator recently reduced to 194 games and reinstated him from the restricted list effective immediately.
Although arbitrator Martin F. Scheinman reduced the suspension, he affirmed Bauer violated MLB’s sexual assault policy and docked his pay for the first 50 games of the 2023 season.
The Dodgers signed Bauer to a three-year, $102 million contract in February 2021. He made just 17 starts that year before being placed on paid administrative leave amid sexual assault allegations. Reports of two women from Ohio making similar accusations surfaced after that point.
June 28, 2021, wound up being the last time Bauer pitched for the Dodgers. The right-hander finished his brief career with the team at 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.
If clearing waivers and becoming a free agent, Bauer would have the option to sign with any team. He presumably would receive the league minimum ($720,000), which would be deducted from the $22.5 million the Dodgers owe Bauer for the 2023 season.
Because the Dodgers essentially faced a scenario where they were going to have to pay salary to Bauer regardless of what decision they made, it’s put them up against the luxury tax threshold, which the front office seemingly had been operating to avoid in 2023 in order to reset penalties.
Did Dodgers players want Trevor Bauer to return?
In the weeks after Bauer was put on administrative leave, it was reported a majority of the Dodgers clubhouse was against the possibility of him ever returning to the team.
More recently, it was reiterated players didn’t want Bauer to return with the Dodgers. However, that was followed by a report indicating some players informed the front office of their desire to have Bauer back.
No Dodgers player ever publicly commented on the matter.
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