Dodgers release pitcher Trevor Bauer after his suspension for potential sexual assault was reduced


The Los Angeles Dodgers announced they will DFA starting pitcher Trevor Bauer, clearing him from their roster and letting him walk as a free agent.

Under the rules of designated free agency, the Dodgers have seven days to trade Bauer to another team. If they do not find a partner, he will be released and can sign with any team for the minimum of $720k. The Dodgers will also be paying $22.5m of his contract.

This comes weeks after an independent arbitrator reduced his record 324 game suspension down to just 194 – which would allow him to be available at the start of the 2023 MLB season.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have chosen to DFA Trevor Bauer for the purposes of releasing him

The Los Angeles Dodgers have chosen to DFA Trevor Bauer for the purposes of releasing him

In a statement, the Dodgers said they fully cooperated with MLB’s investigation and they take the accusations seriously.

‘The Dodgers organization believes that allegations of sexual assault or domestic violence should be thoroughly investigated, with due process given to the accused,’ the statement read.

‘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.’

The former Cy Young winner with the Cincinnati Reds was accused of sexual assault in 2021

The former Cy Young winner with the Cincinnati Reds was accused of sexual assault in 2021

After the initial suspension was handed down, the players’ association filed a grievance on behalf of the former Cy Young Award winner. A three-person panel headed by independent arbitrator Martin Scheinman started hearing the case on May 23.

Scheinman upheld a 194-game suspension rather than Manfred’s intended 324-game penalty but reinstated Bauer immediately, effectively assigning 50 games to cover part of the lengthy time Bauer was put on administrative leave while MLB investigated during the 2021 season and early this year.

‘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,’ the league said in a statement when the reduced suspension was announced. ‘We understand this process was difficult for the witnesses involved and we thank them for their participation.’ 

Bauer's accuser wasn't able to get a restraining order & Bauer was not charged with a crime

Bauer’s accuser wasn’t able to get a restraining order & Bauer was not charged with a crime

Bauer was never charged with a crime. His accuser sought, but was denied, a restraining order against him, and Los Angeles prosecutors said in February there was insufficient evidence to prove the woman´s accusations beyond a reasonable doubt.

Bauer, who hasn’t played since the allegations surfaced and MLB began investigating, repeatedly has said that everything that happened between him and the woman was consensual.

Bauer sued his accuser in federal court, a move that came less than three months after prosecutors decided not to file criminal charges against the pitcher. Bauer named the woman and one of her attorneys, Niranjan Fred Thiagarajah, as defendants in the lawsuit. The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they have been victims of sexual assault.

The lawsuit said that ‘the damage to Mr. Bauer has been extreme’ after the woman alleged that he had choked her into unconsciousness, punched her repeatedly and had anal sex with her without her consent during two sexual encounters last year.

The pitcher has said the two engaged in rough sex at his Pasadena home at her suggestion and followed guidelines they agreed to in advance.

Bauer has said in a past statement sent through his representatives that he had a ‘casual and wholly consensual sexual relationship from 2013-2018’ with the woman, which began when he was pitching for the Triple-A team in Columbus.

‘None of our meetings ever involved a single non-consensual, let alone illegal, act,’ Bauer said.

Bauer has not thrown a pitch since June 29, 2021 & was put on administrative leave by the MLB

Bauer has not thrown a pitch since June 29, 2021 & was put on administrative leave by the MLB

Under Major League Rule 2, Bauer will not count against the Dodgers’ player limits for 14 days, which gave the team until today – January 6 – to decide whether to cut ties. Under those rules, the Dodgers remain responsible for the roughly $22.6 million he is owed next season and he would be free to sign with any club.

After winning his first Cy Young with the Cincinnati Reds in 2020, Bauer agreed to join his hometown Dodgers. He did not pitch after June 29 in 2021 and finished with an 8-2 record and a 2.59 ERA in 17 appearances.

Bauer was placed on administrative leave on July 2, 2021, under the domestic violence policy, a leave extended 13 times.

Among 15 players previously disciplined under the policy, the longest suspension was a full season and postseason for free agent pitcher Sam Dyson in 2021. None of the players previously disciplined under the policy appear to have challenged the penalty before an arbitrator.



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