Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer was suspended for 324 games, the equivalent of two full seasons, by Major League Baseball, in accordance with the joint domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse policy and program, pending an investigation by the league.
Bauer already missed 111 games while on paid administrative leave, dating back to 2021 and including the postseason. But those game won’t count against the suspension length, which if upheld would last 18 games into the 2024 season.
Bauer is appealing the suspension, which began on April 29, 2022. “In the strongest possible terms, I deny committing any violation of the league’s domestic violence & sexual assault policy,” Bauer tweeted.
A temporary restraining order was filed against Bauer in Los Angeles Superior Court on June 29, 2021, stemming from two sexual encounters in April and May. A judge denied the request for a restraining order against Bauer on August 19. Bauer was placed on administrative leave by MLB on July 2.
Bauer was also under investigation by the Pasadena police department, though on February 7 after a five-month investigation the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office declined to press charges, citing insufficient evidence to prove the relevant charges against Bauer beyond a reasonable doubt.
Per the collective bargaining agreement, MLB has the authority to suspend a player whether or not they are arrested or charged with a crime. Since the league’s domestic violence policy was enacted in 2015, the eight players placed on administrative leave during a season were all suspended, with a minimum of 20 games and an average of 57 games among the group.
Administrative leave removed Bauer from the Dodgers’ 40-man roster for the last half of the 2021 season, placing him on the restricted list while the investigation is ongoing. With agreement from the MLB players association, MLB has extended Bauer’s administrative leave nine times in 2021, the last time on September 10, extending the leave through the end of the postseason.
The Dodgers canceled a scheduled Bauer bobblehead day on August 19, and his jersey and merchandise was removed from both Dodger Stadium and on MLB’s website in early July.
The team hasn’t spoken publicly about Bauer, though in an internal memo to staff in mid-August, team president and CEO Stan Kasten said, “During the past couple of months, we have all been deeply troubled by the allegations that have been made against Trevor Bauer,” per ESPN. In that same memo, per the Los Angeles Times, Kasten wrote, “The Dodgers organization takes all allegations of this nature very seriously and does not condone or excuse any acts of domestic violence or sexual assault.”
In a press conference after the end of the 2021 season, on October 27, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said of Bauer, “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.”
One 2022 spring training began, Bauer was placed back on administrative leave while his MLB investigation remained ongoing. That leave has been extended twice, the latest through April 29, which covers the first 19 games of the regular season.
On April 25, Bauer filed suit against his accuser and her lawyer, claiming, “She wanted to destroy Mr. Bauer’s reputation and baseball career, garner attention for herself, and extract millions of dollars from Mr. Bauer.”