The Dodgers on Friday designated pitcher Trevor Bauer for assignment after his 194-game suspension under MLB’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy was up. It was the longest suspension in the history of the policy, which started in 2015.
“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.”
Bauer was originally suspended for two years by Major League Baseball on April 29, which covered the final 144 games of the 2022 season. Upon appeal, arbitrator Martin F. Scheinman reduced the total suspension to 194 games in a decision announced on December 22. MLB rules allow for two weeks for a team to add a player from the restricted list to the 40-man roster, and Friday was that deadline for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers’ initial statement on December 22 was, “We have just been informed of the arbitrator’s ruling and will comment as soon as practical.”
Though Bauer was reinstated by MLB, the arbitrator’s decision further docked 50 games’ worth of pay for the 2023 season, effectively counting part of his time on administrative leave before the April suspension as time served. Before his suspension, Bauer was on paid administrative leave since July 2, 2021, while MLB conducted its investigation.
Bauer released a statement through his representatives, claiming the Dodgers told him Thursday they wanted him to pitch for them this season.
Bauer, who last pitched for the Dodgers on June 28, 2021, signed a three-year, $102-million contract that February. His salary for 2023 is $32 million, which was reduced to just over $22.5 million with the 50 games of docked pay. The Dodgers will be on the hook for that remaining salary, less the major league minimum of $720,000 should he sign elsewhere.
Ronald Blum at Associated Press noted in December that Bauer lost $37.6 million of his $102-million contract for getting suspended.