LOS ANGELES The Los Angeles Dodgers are cutting ties with pitcher Trevor Bauer, whose unprecedented 324-game suspension over sexual misconduct allegations was reduced two weeks agowhich allowed him to resume his career with the start of the new season.
A person familiar with the situation said on Friday that the 31-year-old right-hander has been assigned a task, meaning the Dodgers have seven days to make an unlikely deal or simply release him. This person spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced a roster move.
If the 2020 NL Cy Young Award winner is released, Los Angeles will be liable for more than $22.5 million left on the pitcher’s contract.
“After careful consideration, we have determined that he will no longer be part of our organization,” the Dodgers said in a statement posted on Twitter.
The Dodgers had to bring Bauer back into the lineup by Friday under baseball rules, and they didn’t announce their decision until late at night. The team rarely commented on the divisive case as Bauer was placed on paid administrative leave in July 2021.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred suspended Bauer for 324 games for violating the league’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy after a San Diego woman alleges he beat and sexually assaulted her in 2021. Bauer claimed he did nothing wrong, saying that everything that happened between him and the woman was consensual.
The players’ association filed a complaint on Bauer’s behalf, and a three-member panel led by independent arbiter Martin Scheinman began hearing the case in May last year.
In a December 22 decision, Scheinman upheld the 194-game suspension rather than Manfred’s 324-game penalty, and immediately reinstated Bauer. Scheinman confirmed that Bauer violated MLB policy and cut his pay for the first 50 games of 2023, covering part of the time the pitcher was on paid leave in 2021 and 22.
“The Dodgers organization believes that allegations of sexual harassment or domestic violence should be thoroughly investigated and those accused should be given due process,” the team said in a statement.
The team said it cooperated fully with the MLB investigation and strictly followed the league’s policy on domestic violence and sexual assault.
“Two extensive reviews of all available evidence in this case – one by Commissioner Manfred and the other by a neutral arbitrator – concluded that Mr. Bauer’s actions justify the longest suspension of an active player in our sport for violating this policy,” Dodgers said in a statement. .
Bauer joined his hometown Dodgers ahead of the 2021 season on a three-year, $102 million contract. He had an 8–5 record and a 2.59 ERA in 17 games before being sent on leave.
If Bauer is released, the MLB Players Association may challenge his release as non-compliance with the Uniform Player Contract.
The contract allows the team to terminate the contract if the player “fails, refuses or neglects his personal behavior in accordance with the standards of integrity and good sportsmanship, or maintains himself in first-class physical condition, or obeys the club’s training rules” or “cannot, in the opinion of club management, demonstrate sufficient skill or competitiveness to qualify or continue as a member of the club’s team.”
In February 2022, Los Angeles prosecutors decided not to charge Bauer with allegedly beating and sexually assaulting a San Diego woman, as they said they could not prove her allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.
The woman, aged 27 at the time, said Bauer choked her unconscious, punched her repeatedly, and raped her during two sexual encounters.
The Associated Press does not usually identify people who say they have been victims of sexual assault.
Bauer said in a video posted to YouTube following the prosecutor’s decision that he and the woman engaged in rough sex at her suggestion and followed instructions they had agreed upon in advance. According to him, each meeting ended with her spending the night at his house in Pasadena.
“The three disturbing acts and behaviors that she described just didn’t happen,” he said at the time.
The woman requested a restraining order, but the judge denied it. The judge found that Bauer respected the woman’s boundaries when the woman set them, and could not have been aware of those he violated because she did not express them clearly.
Bauer will lose about $37.6 million in payroll over the last 144 games of last season and the first 50 games of this season through May 23.
If Bauer is released, another team can sign him for a league minimum of $720,000, with the Dodgers responsible for the remainder of the $22,537,635 owed to him.
AP baseball columnist Ronald Bloom contributed to this report.
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