The MLB finally handed down a verdict on the Trevor Bauer situation on Friday and it was a firm one, suspending the starting pitcher for two years.
Bauer had been on administrative leave while the league investigated disturbing allegations of domestic violence and sexual assault against Bauer. In June of last year, a then-27-year-old woman alleged that Bauer assaulted her over the course of two sexual encounters, “chok[ing] her unconscious on multiple occasions, repeatedly scratch[ing] and punch[ing] her throughout her body, sodomiz[ing] her without consent and [leaving] her with injuries that warranted a trip to the emergency room.”
Earlier this year, a Los Angeles judge denied a request from the victim for a permanent restraining order against Bauer, and then in February, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office declined to file criminal charges against Bauer.
However, the MLB has the ability to suspend players even without a criminal conviction, so the league determined, through its investigation of this incident and at least one instance of alleged sexual assault against Bauer, that the player violated the standards of behavior for players in the league.
Bauer has appealed the suspension, becoming the first athlete to appeal a suspension from the league’s domestic abuse policy, but it is unlikely that anything will charge in regards to his punishment. That means that Bauer’s contract with the Dodgers will be up by the time his suspension is over.
Furthermore, the Dodgers will not have to pay Bauer any of his contract while he is serving his suspension, so his contract is essentially taken off the books for the team over the next two years.
Bauer is the 16th player suspended since the league and the MLBPA created the domestic abuse policy. The Dodgers released the following statement:
“Today we were informed that MLB has concluded its investigation into allegations that have been made against Trevor Bauer, and the Commissioner has issued his decision regarding discipline. The Dodgers organization takes all allegations of this nature very seriously and does not condone or excuse any acts of domestic violence or sexual assault. We’ve cooperated fully with MLB’s investigation since it began, and we fully support MLB’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Child Abuse Policy, and the Commissioner’s enforcement of the Policy. We understand that Trevor has the right to appeal the Commissioner’s decision. Therefore, we will not comment further until the process is complete.”