Major League Baseball suspended Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer for 324 games, the equivalent of two full seasons, through the league’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy, the league announced Friday. It’s the longest suspension in the seven-year history of the policy.
Bauer missed 93 games of the 2021 regular season while on paid administrative leave, including the final 81 games of the regular season and all 12 playoff contests. Bauer has been on administrative leave since the start of spring training this year, missing the first 18 regular season games, bringing his total to 111 games on leave.
Commissioner Rob Manfred said Friday that Bauer’s suspension will be effective Friday, without pay. Bauer plans to appeal.
Bauer is under contract for $32 million in each of 2022 and 2023. This suspension lasts past the end of that contract.
MLB placed Bauer on administrative leave on July 2, three days after a request for a temporary restraining order was filed against him in Los Angeles Superior Court, stemming from sexual encounters in April and May. That request was denied on August 19.
Bauer was not charged criminally, with Los Angeles County district attorneys office on February 8 saying it was unable to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Criminal charges are not required for suspension under MLB’s policy, which was agreed on by owners and players through collective bargaining.
“In the strongest possible terms, I deny committing any violation of the league’s domestic violence & sexual assault policy,” Bauer tweeted Friday. “I am appealing this action and expect to prevail. As we have throughout this process, my representatives & I respect the confidentiality of the proceedings.”
The Dodgers have stayed mostly silent during the MLB investigation, preferring not to comment publicly.
“From our standpoint, it’s being handled by the league office,” president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said on October 27. “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.”
Manager Dave Roberts has maintained the Bauer situation hasn’t been a distraction to the Dodgers.
“I think we’re just focused on winning a baseball game. There’s always going to be stuff that goes around,” Roberts said April 17. “It’s so out of my control or any of our control, so we’re just focused on what we can control.”
On Friday, the Dodgers issued a statement:
“Today we were informed that MLB has concluded its investigation into allegations that have been made against Trevor Bauer, and the Commissioner has issued his decision regarding discipline. 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. We’ve cooperated fully with MLB’s investigation since it began, and we fully support MLB’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Child Abuse Policy, and the Commissioner’s enforcement of the Policy. We understand that Trevor has the right to appeal the Commissioner’s decision. Therefore, we will not comment further until the process is complete.”