MLB

Dodgers at deadline to keep or release Trevor Bauer

Dodgers at deadline to keep or release Trevor Bauer

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The Los Angeles Dodgers have a decision to make before baseball’s trade deadline Friday: They can add starting pitcher Trevor Bauer to their roster or they can release him. They can reactivate a player given the longest suspension ever levied under the league’s domestic violence and sexual assault policyor they can pay him to go away.

As of Friday morning, it’s unclear which path the Dodgers will choose.

Bauer, who will turn 32 this month, won the 2020 National League Cy Young Award and threw himself a big three-year deal with the Dodgers before the 2021 season. But in June 2021, a woman filed a restraining order against him in Los Angeles County Court. She alleged that Bauer assaulted her during two consensual sexual encounters that turned violent, causing trauma to her head and face, and that he strangled her until she lost consciousness. Bauer denied assaulting her. Major League Baseball placed Bauer on administrative leave and conducted an investigation.

Later that year, The Post reported that Bauer was also the subject to a temporary order of protection in Ohio after a woman alleged he had made repeated threats against her. In April 2022, the The Post reported on another woman’s allegations of sexual violence against Bauer, with whom she had a relationship in 2013. Bauer also denied her claims.

When Major League Baseball concluded its investigation in April 2022, commissioner Rob Manfred announced that Bauer would be suspended 324 games, or two full regular seasons. Bauer appealed. At the end of December, an independent arbitrator reduced Bauer’s suspension to 194 games. Bauer is now eligible to pitch on Opening Day.

If the Dodgers decide to cut Bauer, they will owe him the $22 million promised in his contract in 2023, minus 50 games of salary docked as part of the umpire’s decision to reduce the length of his suspension. If they decide to keep him, they’ll owe him the same amount of money and add him to a rotation that needs more depth, especially if Bauer looks like the late-round ace they signed him for.

A third option exists: The Dodgers could trade Bauer, whose 2022 salary is in line with what pitchers of his caliber are making these days, especially if the Dodgers were willing to pay a portion of that salary as part of a trade But although Bauer they were not embroiled in allegations of sexual violencehe hasn’t pitched since the middle of the 2021 season, and not since the league organized one very public crackdown on the use of illegal “sticky stuff”. which Bauer himself has been suspected of using to improve his performance. That is, hardly a lock to re-form if he returns to the mound.

So farmer is embroiled in those allegations, which appear to limit the number of potential suitors, even if MLB front offices have a history of offering second chances to players charged under the domestic violence and sexual abuse policy. Such potential suitors will not have access to any information uncovered by MLB’s investigation, except what has been publicly reported – the details of which have not been confirmed by MLB as part of this confidentiality agreement, and to any team that has been disclosed.

Bauer’s next employer, should he find one, will know that commissioner Rob Manfred looked at the results of that investigation and decided to suspend Bauer for two full seasons. And you will know that an independent referee he looked at piles of evidence and reduced the suspension to 194 games (effectively time served) – still by far the longest sentence ever handed down for sexual violence. They will also know that the Los Angeles County district attorney, after reviewing the details of one of those allegations, declined to charge Bauer and that a judge denied the woman’s request for a warrant away

The Dodgers have been responding for Bauer ever since the moment they signed it to a three-year, $102 million deal before the 2021 season. At the time, he was known as an online bully and a polarizing presence in the clubhouse, talking about pitchers’ use of catchy stuff (including the headquarters) to improve their performance and was not afraid to call out to their colleagues when they returned. Now, he is known for something else. And the Dodgers have to decide how much they’re willing to forgive.



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