Bauer’s suspension reduced by arbitrator, reinstated by MLB effective immediately

Los Angeles Dodgers Pitcher Trevor Bauer. The Signal Courtesy Photo
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Hart alumnus and Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer had his 324-game suspension reduced to 194 games by an independent arbitrator, effectively reinstating Bauer immediately, Major League Baseball said in a statement released on Thursday. 

The arbitrator, Martin F. Scheinman, ruled that Bauer did violate the MLB-MLBPA Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Policy, and that the original unpaid suspension was valid. 

“Today, the neutral arbitrator selected by MLB and the MLBPA affirmed that Trevor Bauer violated Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy,” MLB’s statement reads. 

“After an exhaustive review of the available evidence the neutral arbitrator upheld an unpaid suspension of 194 games,” the statement continues. “As part of the decision, the arbitrator reinstated Mr. Bauer effective immediately, with a loss of pay covering the 144 games he was suspended during the 2022 season. In addition, the arbitrator docked Bauer’s salary for the first 50 games of the 2023 season (i.e., the period covering March 30, 2023 to May 23, 2023). 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. 

“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.” 

The Dodgers now have until Jan. 6 to decide whether to keep Bauer on the 40-man roster or release him, according to Major League Rule 2C, which states that teams have 14 days from reinstatement to make a decision on keeping a previously suspended player. 

“We have just been informed of the arbitrator’s ruling and will comment as soon as practical,” the Dodgers said in a statement released on Thursday. 

Bauer was originally suspended for two full seasons on April 29 following a nearly year-long investigation. He was also put on paid administrative leave on July 2, 2021, and missed 99 games due to that leave. Those games missed were not part of the original suspension handed down by MLB. 

The investigation stems from a San Diego woman alleging that Bauer had sexually assaulted her during two separate encounters in 2021. Bauer stated that the encounters were consensual in nature. 

Bauer, who won the National League Cy Young Award in 2020 while with the Cincinnati Reds, signed a three-year, $102 million contract with the Dodgers prior to the 2021 season. Adding the 50 games that Bauer will not be paid for in 2023, he has now lost $37.5 million due to the suspension. 

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