Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer is reinstated by arbitrator

An arbitrator reduced Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer’s suspension from 324 games to 194 on Thursday, reinstating him while affirming Bauer violated Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy.

The Dodgers have until January 6 to reinstate or release Bauer, who is owed $32 million in 2023, the last year of the three-year contract he signed in February 2021.

The arbitrator also docked Bauer’s salary for the first 50 games of the 2023 season.

The arbitrator’s decision is independent of any legal process involving Bauer, who was originally placed on administrative leave July 2, 2021. Bauer pitched only 17 games for the Dodgers after signing a three-year, $102 million contract. The Dodgers will have owed him $64.5 million as a result of MLB’s suspension and the arbitrator’s subsequent decision.

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

MLB released its own statement, saying  “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.”

Bauer was the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner when he signed his lucrative free agent contract with the defending champion Dodgers. A San Fernando Valley native, Bauer’s homecoming was derailed in short order.

In June 2021, a San Diego woman publicly accused Bauer of sexual assault. Bauer went to court to successfully challenge a temporary restraining order, and aggressively defended his actions as part of a consensual encounter. He later accused the woman of defamation in court.

In the meantime, more allegations surfaced. An Ohio woman sought a restraining order against Bauer in 2020, the Washington Post reported.

A second woman in Ohio came forward with claims of violent sexual encounters with Bauer in April 2022.

It is unknown how many accusers testified against Bauer for MLB’s investigation.

“We understand this process was difficult for the witnesses involved and we thank them for their participation,” the league’s statement read. “Due to the collectively bargained confidentiality provisions of the joint program, we are unable to provide further details at this time.”

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If it does not merely hasten the end of Bauer’s time in a Dodger uniform, the arbitrator’s decision could deter any team from employing Bauer in the future. His suspension is the longest for any player under MLB’s domestic violence policy.

Writing on his Twitter account after the decision Thursday, Bauer said: “The 2023 season Vlog is going to be ! Can’t wait to see y’all out at a stadium soon!”

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