Dodgers’ Trevor Bauer reinstated after MLB suspension reduced from 324 to 194 games

Trevor Bauer is removed to play again in MLB. The question is whether the Dodgers, or any other team, want to put him on the mound. (Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Images via Getty Images)

Trevor Bauer has been reinstated after an umpire reduced his suspension from 324 games to 194 games, MLB announced Thursday.

It’s been over a year since Bauer last appeared on an MLB mound, after he was placed on paid administrative leave on July 2, 2021, after a woman accused him of choking her unconscious and assaulting her during a sexual encounter earlier that year. Two other defendants have since come forward.

Bauer has denied the allegations, called all encounters with the women consensual, and sued them and the media outlets he accused of defaming him. No criminal charges have been filed against him.

This administrative furlough eventually led to an unprecedented two-year suspension of games in April of this year, with no credit for time spent on paid leave. The arbitrator chose to count this leave as part of Bauer’s suspension while awarding him 50 match wages in 2023 to cover the amount he paid while sidelined.

Even with the reduction, the sentence remains the longest suspension an active MLB player has ever received for sexual assault or domestic violence. The total cost of his suspension will be $37.5 million of the $102.5 million he signed after the 2020 season.

Where does Trevor Bauer go from here?

Under the original terms of his suspension, Bauer was not eligible to play in an MLB game until about a month into the 2024 season. The shortened suspension and conversion of his paid leave meant he was immediately allowed to play without restrictions.

The big question, at least as far as MLB is concerned, is whether the Dodgers or any other team have any interest in putting Bauer on the mound.

According to Bill Chaykin of the Los Angeles Times, the Dodgers have until January 6 to decide whether they want to add Bauer to their active roster or release him. Either way, they’re on the hook for his $32 million salary minus his 50-game pay, which works out to about $22 million.

The Dodgers acknowledged the decision shortly after it was made, but declined to provide any information about their plans for the future.

There had been previous reports the Dodgers were unlikely to bring Power back no matter what they paid him, with rumors of little support for him within the club. However, the arbitration award has been hanging over them for several months, with the potential to unlock tens of millions of dollars. This obviously didn’t happen, complicating an already messy class.

If the Dodgers choose to release Bauer, it is unclear if any team would be interested in adding him given his personal baggage. On the mound, Bauer holds a career 3.79 ERA across 10 seasons, with a Cy Young Award in a pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

Full MLB statement regarding Trevor Bauer’s decision

Today, the MLB and MLBPA-selected neutral arbitrator confirmed that Trevor Bauer violated Major League Baseball’s common domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse policy.

After a thorough review of the available evidence, the neutral arbitrator upheld the suspension of 194 games without pay. As part of the decision, the arbitrator reinstated Mr. Bauer effectively immediately, with a loss in pay covering the 144 games he was suspended through the 2022 season. In addition, the arbitrator reduced 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 the longest suspension of players in baseball for sexual assault or violence home.

We understand that this process has been difficult for the witnesses involved and we thank them for their participation. Due to the joint program’s collectively negotiated confidentiality provisions, we are unable to provide further details at this time.”

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