The Los Angeles Dodgers announced on Friday that pitcher Trevor Bauer “will no longer be part of our organization” in a statement released by the organization.
Bauer, a Hart High School alumnus, was reinstated by Major League Baseball on Dec. 22 following an independent arbitrator’s ruling that his suspension be lifted, dropping the number of games from 324 to 194. Bauer had been officially suspended under MLB’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy since April 29 of last year following an investigation into alleged domestic violence stemming from a San Diego woman’s claims of being sexually assaulted during two separate encounters in 2021.
“The Dodgers organization believes that allegations of sexual assault or domestic violence should be thoroughly investigated, with due process given to the accused,” the Dodgers’ statement reads. “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 (Rob) 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.”
The Dodgers had until Friday to decide whether to keep Bauer on the 40-man roster, 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. The Dodgers chose to designate him for assignment, and should he clear waivers – teams have seven days to place a claim – and be released, the Dodgers would still have to pay him the rest of the $22.5 million he is owed from the three-year, $102 million contract signed in February 2021.
Any team can sign Bauer for the league-minimum salary of $720,000 should he ultimately be released, an amount the Dodgers would then not have to pay him. Should a team claim him on waivers, that team would then take on the entirety of his remaining contract.
Bauer released a statement on Friday expressing “disappointment by the organization’s decision.”
“While we were unable to communicate through the administrative leave and arbitration process, my representatives spoke to the Dodgers leadership immediately following the arbitration decision,” the statement reads. “Following two weeks of conversations around my return to the organization, I sat down with the Dodgers leadership in Arizona yesterday who told me that they wanted me to return and pitch for the team this year. While I am disappointed by the organization’s decision today, I appreciate the wealth of support I’ve received from the Dodgers clubhouse. I wish the players all the best and look forward to competing elsewhere.”
Bauer has maintained innocence from the onset of the investigation, which began on June 29, 2021, when the San Diego woman filed a request for a domestic violence restraining order. He was placed on administrative leave that day by the Dodgers.
The 194-game suspension is the longest in MLB history under the league’s current domestic violence policy.
“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 said in a statement on Dec. 22 after Bauer’s suspension was lifted.
Bauer pitched a total of 107.2 innings over 17 games for the Dodgers, amassing an 8-5 record with a 2.59 ERA. He previously won the 2020 Cy Young Award while with the Cincinnati Reds.
The Dodgers had come under fire when Bauer was initially signed due to Bauer’s alleged bullying on social media. Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations, said that be believed in the team’s culture and that Bauer’s past transgressions were not something to be afraid of.
“We’re all gonna make mistakes,” Friedman said on Feb. 11, 2021, at a press conference announcing the signing. “What’s important for me … is how we internalize it, and what our thoughts are about it going forward. From our standpoint, it was important to have that conversation. And we came away from it feeling good about it. Now, obviously, time will tell. But I feel like he is going to be a tremendous add, not just on the field but in the clubhouse, in the community, and that’s obviously why we’re sitting here.”