LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers are cutting ties with pitcher Trevor Bauer, whose record-breaking 324-game suspension for sexual misconduct allegations was reduced two weeks ago, allowing him to resume his career with the start of the new season.
A person familiar with the situation said Friday that the 31-year-old right-hander has been designated for assignment, meaning the Dodgers have seven days to either work out an unlikely trade or simply release him. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team had not announced the roster change.
If the 2020 National League Cy Young Award winner is released, Los Angeles would still be responsible for the more than $22.5 million remaining on Bauer’s contract.
“After careful consideration, we have decided that he will no longer be a part of our organization,” the Dodgers said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Bauer said in a statement: “After two weeks of discussions about my return to the organization, I sat down with Dodgers leadership in Arizona yesterday who told me they wanted me to come back and pitch for the team this year.
“While I’m disappointed in the organization’s decision today, I appreciate the outpouring of support I’ve received from the Dodgers clubhouse. I wish the players the best and look forward to competing elsewhere.”
The Dodgers had until Friday to restore Bauer to the roster under baseball rules and did not announce their decision until late afternoon. The team has rarely commented on the divisive case since 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 said he beat and sexually assaulted her in 2021. Bauer He has maintained that he did nothing wrong, saying that everything that happened between him and the woman was consented to.
Bauer was never charged with any crime.
The players’ association filed a complaint on Bauer’s behalf, and a three-person panel headed by independent arbitrator Martin Scheinman began hearing the case last May.
In a December 22 ruling, Scheinman upheld a 194-game suspension in lieu of Manfred’s intended 324-game ban and reinstated Bauer immediately. Scheinman claimed Bauer violated MLB policy and deducted his pay from the first 50 games of 2023, covering part of the period the pitcher was on paid leave in 2021 and 2022.
“The Dodgers organization believes that allegations of sexual assault or domestic violence should be fully investigated, with due process for those accused,” the team statement said.
The team said it fully cooperated with MLB’s investigation and strictly followed the rules of the league’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy.
“Two exhaustive reviews of all available evidence in this case, one by Commissioner Manfred and one by a neutral arbitrator, concluded that Mr. Bauer’s actions warranted the longest suspension of active players in our sport for violations of this policy.” the Dodgers said. .
Bauer joined his hometown Dodgers ahead of the 2021 season on a three-year, $102 million contract. He had an 8-5 record with a 2.59 ERA in 17 games before he was suspended.
Should Bauer be released, the MLB players’ association could challenge his release for failure to comply with the Uniform Player’s Agreement.
The contract allows the team to terminate if the player “fails, refuses, or refuses to conform his personal conduct to the standards of good citizenship and good sportsmanship or maintain himself in first-class physical condition or obey the club’s training rules.” or “does not, in the opinion of the club’s management, demonstrate sufficient skill or competitive ability to qualify for or continue as a member of the club’s team.”
In February 2022, Los Angeles prosecutors decided not to charge Bauer for allegedly beating and sexually assaulting the San Diego woman because they said they could not prove their allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.
The woman, who was 27 at the time, said Bauer strangled her unconscious, repeatedly punched her and sexually assaulted her during two sexual encounters.
The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they have been victims of sexual assault.
Bauer said in a video posted to YouTube after the prosecutor’s decision that he and the woman had rough sex at her suggestion and followed the guidelines they agreed to beforehand. Each encounter of hers ended with her spending the night at her Pasadena home, he said.
“The disturbing acts and behavior that she described simply did not occur,” he said at the time.
The woman had applied for a restraining order, but a judge denied it. The judge found that Bauer respected the woman’s limits when she set them, and could not have known about the ones she violated because she did not express them clearly.
Bauer will lose about $37.6 million in salary for the last 144 games of last season and for the first 50 games of this season, through May 23.
If Bauer is released, another team could sign him for the major league minimum of $720,000, with the Dodgers responsible for the remainder of the $22,537,635 owed.
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