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Dodgers’ Bauer Suspended 324 Games by MLB

Dodgers starting pitcher says he will appeal

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer was suspended Friday for 324 games — two full seasons — by Major League Baseball for violating the domestic violence and sexual assault policy. Bauer immediately announced via Twitter that he would be appealing the longest suspension levied by MLB under this policy.

The 31-year-old was accused in June of violent sexual behavior in two encounters with a San Diego woman at Bauer’s Pasadena, California, home. At the time, he was placed on paid administrative leave as the legal process played out and MLB investigated. He spent the rest of the season and the beginning of this season on administrative leave. He has already missed 111 games. Bauer last pitched June 28.

In early February, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office declined to file criminal charges against Bauer, saying it was “unable to prove the relevant charges beyond a reasonable doubt.”

However, that did not clear Bauer from possible punishment from MLB, which did not contact Bauer during the lockout due to the owners’ lockout of players that began Dec. 2. Technically, it is a conduct matter vs. a legal matter, with MLB’s assault policy allowing the commissioner to level penalties without criminal charges. There was another woman in Ohio who made similar allegations against Bauer. It is not known if there are any other allegations besides those two cases.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, in a released statement announcing the penalty, said Bauer’s conduct warranted the suspension, the 16th under this policy and the only one where the league and the player did not come to a negotiated settlement. Under the collective bargaining agreement, Bauer has the right to an expedited appeal to be heard by an independent arbitrator. Since there was no settlement, Bauer’s time already missed is not included.

Bauer, who played at UCLA and went to Hart High School in Santa Clarita, California, signed a three-year, $102 million contract before the 2021 season. He earned $38 million last year and was scheduled to earn $32 million this season and in 2023. He will not be paid during the suspension.

The right-hander pitched 17 games for the Dodgers, going 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA. The suspension that began Friday will go beyond the end of this contract. He is currently eligible for reinstatement at the end of April 2024. In his 10-year career, Bauer is 83-69 with a 3.79 ERA for the Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds. He won the National League Cy Young Award in 2020 with the Reds.

The San Diego woman provided medical records in which doctors diagnosed her with “assault by manual strangulation” and “acute head injury.” Bauer admitted to the two encounters, but said he did not cause the injuries she sustained.

Bauer this week sued the woman for conducting a “malicious campaign” against him that cost him revenue from terms of his contract (bonuses) as well as endorsements. He has also sued two media entities, The Athletic and Deadspin, for defamation.

 

Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Steve Drumwright

Steve Drumwright is a lifelong baseball fan who retired as a player before he had the chance to be cut from the freshman team in high school. He recovered to become a sportswriter and have a successful journalism career at newspapers in Wisconsin and California. Follow him on Twitter @DrummerWrites.

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