The Los Angeles Dodgers designated starting pitcher Trevor Bauer for assignment on Friday (January 6), cutting ties with the former Cy Young winner weeks after he was reinstated from a record-setting 194-game suspension for violating the MLB-MLBPA Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy, MLB.com reports.
"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 wrote in an official statement.. "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."
Los Angeles will have seven days to find a trade partner before Bauer is placed on unconditional release waivers, at which point he will become a free agent if no team claims him.
Independent arbitrator Martin F. Scheinman reduced Bauer's suspension from 324 games to 194 on December 23.
Baurer's 194-game unpaid suspension for violating the MLB-MLBPA Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Police is the longest ever implemented in league history.
“Today, the neutral arbitrator selected by MLB and the MLBPA affirmed that Trevor Bauer violated Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy," Major League Baseball said in a statement at the time of Bauer's reinstatement. “After an exhaustive review of the available evidence the neutral arbitrator upheld an unpaid suspension of 194 games.
"As part of the decision, the arbitrator reinstated Mr. Bauer effective immediately, with a loss of pay covering the 144 games he was suspended during the 2022 season. In addition, the arbitrator docked Bauer’s salary for the first 50 games of the 2023 season (i.e., the period covering March 30, 2023 to May 23, 2023). 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.
“We understand this process was difficult for the witnesses involved and we thank them for their participation. Due to the collectively bargained confidentiality provisions of the joint program, we are unable to provide further details at this time.”
The Dodgers had previously issued a statement confirming that they were "informed of the arbitrator's ruling" and would provide a public "comment as soon as practical."
Bauer was suspended in April after a San Diego woman filed a request for a domestic violence restraining order claiming Bauer had assaulted her during two sexual encounters at his Pasadena, California home in April and May 2021, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported at the time.
Bauer and his attorneys denied the allegations, referring to them as "fraudulent" and "baseless" in their initial statement and later filed defamation lawsuits against media companies Deadspin and The Athletic in relation to the case.
The pitcher was placed on administrative leave -- meaning he was still paid his full salary but prohibited from being around MLB facilities amid the ongoing investigation -- on July 2.
Following a four-day hearing in August, L.A. Superior Court Judge Dianna Gould-Saltman dissolved a temporary restraining order and ruled that Bauer didn't pose a continual threat to the woman and that the injuries she sustained didn't result from anything she objected to during the encounter based on texts sent by the woman.
Gould-Saltman said the "injuries as shown in the photographs are terrible," but added that if the victim had "set limits and [Bauer] exceeded them, this cause would've been clear. But she set limits without considering all the consequences, and respondent did not exceed limits that the petitioner set," ESPN reports.
The Washington Post published a story days ahead of the hearing in which an Ohio woman had previously sought a temporary restraining order against Bauer and accused him of assault in June 2020.
The order -- which was tried during the pitcher's time with the Cincinnati Reds -- was dismissed six weeks later.
The 31-year-old pitcher was the 2020 Cy Young award winner, posting a league best 1.73 ERA while playing for the Reds during the COVID-shortened 2020 season.
Bauer had previously pitched for the Arizona Diamondbacks (2012), Cleveland Indians (2013-19) and Reds (2020) before signing a three-year, $102 million contract with the Dodgers during the 2021 offseason.
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