Dodgers’ Trevor Bauer Suspended 2 Years by MLB After Sexual Assault Allegations

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVApril 29, 2022

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Trevor Bauer warms up prior to a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Tuesday, April 13, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Major League Baseball is suspending Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer for 324 games, the equivalent of two full seasons, without pay for violating its joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today provided the league's full press release:

Bob Nightengale @BNightengale

The official release <a href="https://t.co/NWoyMucKI7">pic.twitter.com/NWoyMucKI7</a>

Bauer announced he will appeal the suspension:

Trevor Bauer (トレバー・バウアー) @BauerOutage

In the strongest possible terms, I deny committing any violation of the league’s domestic violence &amp; sexual assault policy. I am appealing this action and expect to prevail. As we have throughout this process, my representatives &amp; I respect the confidentiality of the proceedings.

ESPN's Jeff Passan noted, per Gus Garcia-Roberts of the Washington Post, that Bauer is also facing new allegations:

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

A new report from <a href="https://twitter.com/ggarciaroberts?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ggarciaroberts</a> includes allegations of sexual abuse by Trevor Bauer, whom Major League Baseball suspended today for two years for violating its domestic-violence policy. All three women spoke with the league during its investigation. <a href="https://t.co/f1ulso3Us9">https://t.co/f1ulso3Us9</a>

The 2020 National League Cy Young winner hasn't appeared in a game for the Dodgers since June 2021.

On June 30, The Athletic's Brittany Ghiroli and Katie Strang reported a woman had obtained a temporary restraining order against Bauer after alleging he had sexually assaulted her on two occasions. The woman said he had choked her until she was unconscious, punched her multiple times and committed sexual acts to which she didn't consent.

Bauer's attorney, Jon Fetterolf, denied the allegations.

MLB placed Bauer on administrative leave beginning July 2 and extended his leave in 14-day increments until he was ruled out for the remainder of the 2021 season last September.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office stated on Feb. 8 the 31-year-old wouldn't face criminal charges stemming from the allegations. He issued a seven-minute statement on the matter on his YouTube channel:

In addition to the allegations laid out in The Athletic's report, Gus Garcia-Roberts and Molly Hensley-Clancy of the Washington Post reported last August an Ohio woman had sought a temporary order of protection against Bauer in June 2020.

Criminal charges aren't a prerequisite under the league's policy in order to hand down a suspension. Aroldis Chapman (30 games), Jose Reyes (51 games) and Roberto Osuna (75 games) all received notable bans despite not being criminally charged or having their charges eventually dropped.

MLB and the MLB Players Association agreed in March to extend Bauer's administrative leave period.

ESPN's Jeff Passan reported in February that Bauer was not only expected to be suspended by MLB, but that his punishment could also run for one or two years.

Passan also wrote how his future in the sport was somewhat unknown:

"In August, sources around the sport told ESPN they expect the league to levy a significant suspension against Bauer. Further, front-office officials questioned not just whether the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner would return to the field with the Dodgers but whether any team in MLB would be willing to roster him after multiple women accused him of abuse.
"ESPN spoke with more than two dozen sources—executives, owners, lawyers, players and others familiar with how the league's domestic violence policy operates—to assess Bauer's future. While MLB and Bauer's camp declined comment, the picture that emerged is one in which Bauer will remain a prominent figure in baseball even as he's not in a uniform, with him protesting the discipline handed down and trying to salvage his career and money."

Following the conclusion of the 2021 season, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman was vague about Bauer's long-term status with the organization.

"It’s no different than where we were in July, August and September," he told reporters. "From our standpoint, it’s being handled by the league office. As soon as something is decided, we will come down and talk through it extensively with you guys. But until that happens, we have to reserve comment."

Bauer originally signed a three-year, $102 million contract with the Dodgers during the 2021 offseason. The deal included $32 million player options for 2022 and 2023. The right-hander exercised the first of those two options last November.