LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers announced on Thursday that they have unconditionally released right-handed pitcher Trevor Bauer, who recently finished serving a 194-game suspension for violating the MLB-MLBPA Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy.
The transaction comes one week after Bauer was designated for assignment by the Dodgers.
"The Dodgers organization believes that allegations of sexual assault or domestic violence should be thoroughly investigated, with due process given to the accused," the club wrote in a statement after designating Bauer. "From the beginning, we have fully cooperated with Major League Baseball's investigation and strictly followed the process stipulated under MLB’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. Two extensive reviews of all the available evidence in this case -- one by Commissioner [Rob] Manfred and another by a neutral arbitrator -- concluded that Mr. Bauer's actions warranted the longest ever active player suspension in our sport for violations of this policy. Now that this process has been completed, and after careful consideration, we have decided that he will no longer be part of our organization."
Independent arbitrator Martin F. Scheinman affirmed that Bauer violated the domestic violence policy while cutting Bauer’s suspension from 324 games to 194 games on Dec. 22. That reduction made Bauer eligible for immediate reinstatement since he had already missed 243 games between his time on administrative leave and the 144 games he served under suspension in 2022.
The Dodgers had until Jan. 6 to determine whether to place Bauer back on the active 40-man roster or let him go. They held organizational meetings, including some with clubhouse leaders, over a span of 14 days before making their final decision.
Because he was not traded before being released, the Dodgers will owe Bauer $22.5 million for the upcoming season. This was to be the final season of his three-year, $102 million contract.
Bauer, who will turn 32 on Jan. 17, was the first player to appeal a suspension under the domestic violence policy. While reduced, it’s still the longest suspension handed down under the MLB-MLBPA Joint Domestic Violence Policy, which was enacted in 2015.
Bauer was initially placed on paid administrative leave after a San Diego woman accused him of sexual assault during two sexual encounters in 2021. The woman also submitted a temporary ex parte restraining order against him. Bauer maintained he did nothing wrong, saying the encounters were consensual.
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge denied the restraining order. In February 2022, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office announced that it would not pursue a criminal case against Bauer.
MLB conducted a separate investigation of its own to determine if Bauer violated the league’s domestic violence policy. Under the joint domestic violence policy agreed upon by MLB and the MLBPA, the Commissioner’s Office has the ability to suspend a player even if he has not been charged or convicted in court.