An arbitrator has reduced Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer's suspension under the league's domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy from 324 games to 194 games, Major League Baseball announced Thursday night. It is still the longest suspension under the policy in league history.
"We have just been informed of the arbitrator's ruling and will comment as soon as practical," the Dodgers said in a statement after the league's announcement.
Bauer's reinstatement off the restricted list is effective immediately, though Rule 2(c) gives the Dodgers two weeks to officially put him back on their roster. They have until Jan. 6 to activate Bauer or release him. The Dodgers will owe Bauer his 2022 salary no matter what, though they reportedly plan to release him rather than add him to their active roster.
Here is MLB's statement:
"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.
"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 effectively 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."
Bauer, 31, has not pitched since June 28, 2021. Days after that start, he was accused of assault and placed on administrative leave by MLB while it conducted an investigation. The Pasadena Police Department undertook its own inquiry, but announced on Feb. 8 that Bauer would not face criminal charges in relation to the allegations. The league's collectively bargained domestic violence policy allowed MLB to discipline Bauer even though no criminal charges were filed.
In late June 2021, The Athletic reported details of a woman's encounters with Bauer, which she says were initially consensual. "I agreed to have consensual sex; however, I did not agree or consent to what he did next. I did not agree to be sexually assaulted," the woman said. The Athletic's report, which includes graphic details from a restraining order request, including allegations that Bauer strangled and punched the woman, can be found here.
Bauer, the 2020 NL Cy Young winner, made 17 starts with the Dodgers in 2021 before being placed on leave. The Dodgers signed him to a three-year contract worth $102 million in February 2021. The contract included opt-out clauses after each season. Bauer will lose $37.5 million of the $102 million to the suspension. It would have been roughly $60 million had the full 324-game suspension remained in place.