Trevor Bauer receives two-year ban from MLB
The long wait for a Major League Baseball ruling in the Trevor Bauer case finally came after the Commissioner’s Office reported a severe and historic punishment for the Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher.
According to a statement released Friday afternoon, MLB suspended the pitcher for 324 games, representing two full seasons, for violating the league’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy.
The suspension, effective April 29, is the longest in the history of the policy and will not take into account the days he has been on administrative leave since July 2. In addition, Trevor Bauer, who signed a three-year, $102 million contract with the Dodgers in 2021, will lose about $60 million because he will not receive a salary until he completes his suspension.
Bauer immediately announced through his Twitter account that he will appeal the MLB sanction, as he denies having committed any act that violates the policy.
Trevor Bauer has been out of the Major Leagues since last July when a woman claimed that at his Pasadena, California home between April and May 2021, Bauer took consensual rough sex too far, alleging that he choked her unconscious on multiple occasions, scratched and punched her repeatedly all over her body, sodomized her without consent and left her with injuries that warranted a trip to the emergency room.
Likewise, in August the Washington Post published a story about a second woman, from Ohio, who filed for a temporary restraining order against Bauer in June 2020 and also accused him of assault. However, after months of investigations both cases were dismissed and Bauer received no punishment for either.
With the 31-year-old pitcher spared, for the time being, from any civil sentence, it seems necessary for MLB to make a stronger case for the evidence it has against Bauer, as with a suspension as strong as the one imposed on him, unlike other ballplayers who have been found guilty by the ordinary courts and received a lesser punishment from the Commissioner, the evidence against him should be irrefutable.
The future of Trevor Bauer’s career
If Trevor Bauer’s appeal is unsuccessful, in April 2024, when the suspension expires, the pitcher will be a free agent as his contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers expires after the 2023 season.
Negotiating a new contract under these circumstances will not be easy for the National League Cy Young winner in 2020, since few organizations will be interested in dealing with a figure like Bauer within their team, who was already known to be a somewhat complicated character and now will have to add his behavioral problems. In addition, getting a team willing to pay him the amount of money he believes he is worth will not be easy.
While many players suspended for doping or domestic violence have been able to return to the circuit, Bauer’s physical condition will have to be analyzed after almost three years of inactivity and at 34 years of age.
Obviously, the right-hander has the option of continuing to play in other leagues, such as the Asian leagues, but in a culture as conservative as the Japanese or Chinese, it would be strange if any team would be willing to give him a contract.
Of course, there is also the possibility that the player’s appeal will be successful and if his time is cut short he will be able to return to the Dodgers, who will have to make the decision if they are interested in keeping him for the remainder of his contract at that time or make some other decision.