Dodgers Must Decide Bauer’s Fate After Reduced Suspension

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The Dodgers have until January 6 to decide if pitcher Trevor Bauer will be retained or cut after a reduced suspension has made him eligible for reinstatement.

A neutral arbitrator decided to reduce the 324-game suspension handed down by MLB, to 194 games, in the aftermath of sexual assault allegations that Bauer was ultimately not charged for.

“We have just been informed of the arbitrator’s ruling and will comment as soon as practical,” the Dodgers said in a statement provided through social media.

Bauer has already been credited with serving 144 games of the suspension during the 2022 season and can be reinstated immediately, however, the Dodgers would not owe him payment for the first 50 games of the season.

Should the Dodgers decide not to bring him back, they would still be required to pay Bauer the remaining $22.5 million in his contract for 2023.

In 2021, The Dodgers and Bauer agreed to a three-year $102 million contract, and Bauer’s total losses after the suspension will be roughly $37.5 million.

“While we are pleased that Mr. Bauer has been reinstated immediately, we disagree that any discipline should have been imposed,”  Bauer’s representatives said in a statement Thursday. “That said, Mr. Bauer looks forward to his return to the field, where his goal remains to help his team win a World Series.”

MLB felt Bauer’s suspension for the 2023 season should have remained, but said it would abide by the decision made by a three-person panel that was led by independent arbitrator Martin Scheinman.

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

In February, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office said it declined to file charges against Bauer, stating the evidence was not enough to “prove the relevant charges beyond reasonable doubt.”

Investigators for MLB conducted its own investigation, which led to the original Bauer suspension decision after it deemed the allegations violated the league’s domestic violence policy. Under the MLB domestic violence policy, a player does not need to be charged or convicted in order for the league to enact a punishment.

“In the strongest possible terms, I deny committing any violation of the league’s domestic violence & sexual assault policy,” Bauer said in an April statement. “I am appealing this action and expect to prevail. As we have throughout this process, my representatives and I respect the confidentiality of the proceedings.”

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