MLB

Trevor Bauer of the Dodgers was reinstated after having his suspension reduced to 194 games

Trevor Bauer of the Dodgers was reinstated after having his suspension reduced to 194 games

Trevor Bauer’s initial 324-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy has been reduced to 194 games by an arbitrator, the league announced Thursday, ending a seven-month appeals process and bringing some clarity to a saga that has unfolded over the past year and a half.

Bauer has only served 144 games of his suspension, but arbitrator Martin Scheinman ruled that he is eligible for immediate reinstatement, essentially giving him credit for the time he was on MLB’s restricted list in the second half of the 2021 season. Bauer, however, will be awarded his salary Los Angeles Dodgers during the first 50 games of the 2023 season to make up the difference.

The Dodgers have 14 days to decide whether to reinstate him to their 40-man roster. The team issued a brief statement Thursday night that said, “We have just been informed of the umpire’s decision and will comment as soon as practical.”

Bauer, as part of a tweetwrote: “Can’t wait to see you in a stadium soon!”

Bauer is under contract with the Dodgers for just one more season, in a deal that initially called for him to be paid $32 million. With the 194-game suspension, the Dodgers saved about $28.1 million from their 2022 salary and will save another $9.5 million from their 2023 salary.

Despite the reduction, Bauer’s suspension is the longest of the domestic violence policy’s more than six years.

Bauer, the 31-year-old former Cy Young Award winner, has been facing sexual assault allegations since June 2021, most notably from a San Diego woman who obtained a temporary restraining order against him . Bauer denied her allegations and remains in litigation with the woman. Two other women made similar assault allegations to the Washington Post, which Bauer and his legal team have also denied.

The LA district attorney’s office declined to prosecute Bauer in February, but MLB handed him a 324-game suspension on April 30, twice as long as the previous longest suspension under its policy. Bauer then became the first player to appeal.

Scheinman is an independent arbitrator who is employed by both MLB and the MLB Players Association.

“While we believe a longer suspension was warranted, MLB will respect the neutral arbitrator’s decision, which upholds baseball’s longest active player suspension for sexual assault or domestic violence,” MLB wrote in its statement Thursday . “We understand that this process was difficult for the witnesses involved and we thank them for their participation. Due to the jointly negotiated confidentiality provisions of the joint program, we are unable to provide further details at this time.”

Bauer joined the Dodgers in February 2021 on a three-year, $102 million contract that included two waivers, but has not pitched since June 28 of his freshman year.

The next day, a 27-year-old San Diego woman filed for a domestic violence restraining order (DVRO) alleging that Bauer assaulted her during two sexual encounters at her home in Pasadena, California. April and May of that year. The woman — whom ESPN has chosen not to name — alleged that he choked her unconscious on multiple occasions, scratched and punched her repeatedly all over her body, sodomized her without consent and left with injuries that warranted a trip to the emergency room after rough sex. Bauer and his attorneys, Jon Fetterolf and Rachel Luba, denied the allegations, calling them “fraudulent” and “baseless” in an opening statement.

MLB first placed Bauer on administrative leave on July 2, 2021, initiating an investigation. After that, two other women, both from Ohio, made similar allegations to the Post. In August 2021, a woman told the Post that she sought a DVRO against Bauer in June 2020, accusing him of choking and hitting her without consent during sex and sending threatening messages. That woman, the Post reported, dismissed her order six weeks later after Bauer’s lawyers threatened legal action. The second woman alleged to the Post that Bauer choked her unconscious without consent on several occasions since 2013.

MLB said it conducted “an extensive investigation” into Bauer’s off-field conduct, but did not release details of its findings, or disclose how many women filed assault allegations against him.

Bauer, for his part, has denied any wrongdoing, saying the acts were consensual. He denied the first lady’s allegations on Twitter and posted sexually explicit text messages from her in an effort to show his consent. In August 2021, after an LA judge dismissed the San Diego woman’s request for a permanent restraining order, Bauer posted a seven-minute video on YouTube in which he categorically denied her version of the facts.

The LA County District Attorney’s Office declined to file criminal charges against Bauer in February 2022, dismissing charges of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury and sodomy of an unconscious person and domestic violence. But MLB, which sources said heard similar allegations from several women, suspended him three months later.

Before Bauer, 15 players had been suspended under the domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy that was introduced in August 2015. The policy, jointly agreed to with the MLB Players Association, gives the MLB commissioner Rob Manfred the autonomy to suspend players under “just cause” and does not require him to meet the threshold of proof beyond a reasonable doubt required by the country’s judicial system. These suspensions, not counting that of former reliever Felipe Vázquez, who is serving a prison sentence for sexual assault of a minor, have ranged from 15 to 162 games and were the result of negotiated agreements in which the players resigned to his right of appeal.

Bauer became the first player to challenge a ruling, setting off a drawn-out process in which a three-person panel, made up of one representative from MLB, one from the MLBPA and an independent arbitrator (in this case, Scheinman), reviews the results and interviews witnesses to determine whether a suspension should be upheld, reduced or overturned.

After MLB first placed Bauer on administrative leave, the Dodgers canceled their scheduled bobblehead night and pulled his merchandise from their stores. Team president Stan Kasten sent an email to employees in August 2021 saying he was “deeply troubled by the allegations” against Bauer. Other than that, the team had not commented publicly before its statement on Thursday.

Bauer’s suspension, originally scheduled to last until the 19th game of the 2024 season, prevented the Dodgers from paying him in 2022. Uncertainty over the umpires’ decision was seen as the main reason the Dodgers were hesitant to exceed the threshold of the luxury tax for the third consecutive time. year, most stayed away from star free agents this offseason.

In recent months, Bauer has continued to fill his YouTube channel with videos of him participating in animated bullpen sessions and giving pitching tips.

Bauer has filed defamation lawsuits against two media companies, Deadspin and The Athletic. He also filed a lawsuit against the San Diego woman, which he followed up with a countersuit last August. On Nov. 23, U.S. District Court Judge James Selna allowed the San Diego woman to proceed with her lawsuit and dismissed Bauer’s defamation suit against one of her former attorneys. In her decision, Selna wrote that LA Superior Court Judge Dianna Gould-Saltman’s initial denial of the restraining order did not determine whether Bauer had committed an act of abuse and that no of the parties had asked him to make this determination.

“The state court proceedings did not necessarily decide that Bauer did not assault or sexually assault [the woman]Selna added.

Bauer won the Golden Spikes Award at UCLA in 2011 and was the third overall pick in the draft that year. He clashed with teammates in Arizona, leading to a turnover, and had two notable incidents in Cleveland, allegedly cutting his finger with a drone before the start of the 2016 playoffs and throwing a ball over the center field fence after being pulled from a 2019 start in July. 28 of 2019, three days before renegotiating.

Bauer clashed with Manfred over his handling Houston Astros‘ sign-stealing scandal and the commissioner’s efforts to market the game to a younger audience, among other topics. He’s built a reputation as a tough teammate, but he’s also considered one of the most forward-thinking and analytical pitchers in the sport.

Bauer made a case for a Cy Young Award in 2018, then won it during the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season while with the Cincinnati Reds. The Dodgers signed him later that offseason, beating the New York Mets despite rampant criticism surrounding Bauer’s history of bullying others on social media. Bauer pitched like an ace for Los Angeles in the first half of the 2021 season, posting a 2.59 ERA in 17 starts.





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