Two years after the Dodgers greeted Trevor Bauer with a splashy televised press conference in the outfield of Dodger Stadium, they dismissed him with a one-paragraph statement.
Two weeks after Bauer served the longest suspension served by a player in violation of baseball’s sexual assault and domestic violence policy, the Dodgers cut ties with him on Friday, preferring to pay him to walk away rather than pay him to pitch for their team.
“He will no longer be part of our organization,” said the Dodgers said in the statement.
Bauer was eligible to join the Dodgers for the third and final year of his three-year, $102 million contract. Instead, the Dodgers designated him for assignment, giving them seven days to trade or release him.
They are responsible for the remaining $22.5 million on the contract. If Bauer pitches for another major league team this season, the Dodgers would be responsible for all but the $720,000 minimum, or a pro-rated amount if he pitches for part of the season, unless another team agrees to pay more in a trade. With the Dodgers cutting ties now, Bauer can choose to meet other teams, which would likely be a requirement for any team considering acquiring him. He hasn’t started a competition for 19 months. The Dodgers haven’t received any significant trade interest by Friday’s deadline to decide whether or not to reinstate him on their roster.
In a statement, Bauer said he met with “Dodgers executives” Thursday in Arizona and was told “they want me back and pitching for the team this year.” A spokesperson for Bauer declined to identify the team officials Bauer said he met.
Bauer also said: “While I am disappointed with the organization’s decision today, I appreciate the wealth of support I have received from the Dodgers clubhouse. I wish the players the best and I look forward to competing elsewhere.The Times previously reported that some players had told the Dodgers front office that Bauer would be welcome at the clubhouse.
A Dodgers spokesperson declined to comment on Bauer’s claims. However, according to people familiar with the situation but not authorized to comment publicly, the team’s actions on Friday spoke for themselves and no such indication was provided at Thursday’s meeting.
The Dodgers did not make team officials available for comment Friday. The Times contacted five players for comment this week; representatives for the five players declined to comment. When the Dodgers shared their announcement Friday on Instagram, pitcher Brusdar Graterol liked the post almost immediately.
Bauer has denied sexual assault allegations made by three women, and he has not been charged with a crime. Commissioner Rob Manfred has the authority to suspend players for violating the policy, even in the absence of criminal charges. An independent arbitrator ruled Dec. 22 that the league had met the burden of proof by showing Bauer violated policy.
The umpire reinstated Bauer — reducing the suspension from 324 to 194 games — forcing the Dodgers to decide whether to keep him or drop him. Neither the league’s evidence nor the referee’s explanations have been made public, although two of his accusers are said to have testified against him in appeal proceedings that lasted seven months.
David Cone, the former Cy Young Award winner and five-time World Series champion, called the situation a “public relations nightmare”. Cone, the analyst for ESPN’s flagship “Sunday Night Baseball” show, explained why this week on his “Toeing the Slab” podcast.
“As for the pitchers, he is a scientist. He was ahead of the curve in terms of analysis, in terms of training,” Cone said. “On the stuff off the pitch and what would have happened, it’s poison right now. I don’t know how you’re doing.
The Dodgers’ decision to pass Bauer sent a strong message to fans and professional athletes alike, according to Patti Giggins, executive director of Peace over Violence, a Los Angeles-based sexual assault and domestic violence agency.
“There’s been quite a change in the sports world – teams are taking these issues more seriously in recent years – and that’s so important,” said Giggins, who has been with the organization for 38 years. “Just because it’s not a criminal case doesn’t mean someone hasn’t been a victim. There are consequences to these allegations, and now [the Dodgers] will bring him down.
“So many fans follow their teams, and they cheer for the players and put them on a pedestal, so in a case like this, and I’m not judging guilt or innocence, the message to other players and fans is that how you treat each other, how you treat people you date, how you treat your wives and husbands, it matters.
In February 2021, the Dodgers welcomed Bauer to their team at a televised press conference held in the outfield of Dodger Stadium, a big homecoming for the former Newhall Hart High and UCLA star and reigning winner. National League Cy Young Award.
Bauer and Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman both said that day that Bauer learned from what each called “past mistakes” amid allegations of using social media to harass women. , spreading conspiracy theories and using insensitive language.
Friedman said he hoped “some trust and credibility has developed in terms of the research we do on players and the vetting process we go through.”
Said Bauer: “Ultimately, I’m here to positively impact everyone I may be, both in the community, at the clubhouse, on the pitch, at the stadium, whatever the case may be. “
Four months later, Bauer had started 17 games for the Dodgers, going 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA. On June 28, he was the winning pitcher in the Dodgers’ 3-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants. He wouldn’t pitch for the Dodgers anymore.
The following day, a San Diego woman who had met Bauer online sought a permanent restraining order against him, providing medical records showing she had been diagnosed with a “manual strangulation assault” and an “acute hand injury.” head” after the second of two sexual encounters with him.
The restraining order was thrown out by a judge who ruled that Bauer posed no future threat to the woman. Bauer maintains that the sex was rough but consensual and that the woman was not visibly hurt when she left her home after the encounter.
The league put him on investigative leave and then suspended him. Bauer sued six parties for defamation, including the San Diego wife, who responded by suing him and alleging sexual assault and battery.
On Friday, just before the Dodgers made their announcement, Bauer denied his allegations in a court filing in which he said his lawsuit “was not filed … in good faith with a reasonable cause.” He also denied his stories of sexual misconduct, but said “he admits he smothered her at her request and with her consent.”
Bauer’s filing on Friday met a court-set deadline, unrelated to the Dodgers’ deadline.
The league would continue to include Bauer’s salary in determining the Dodgers’ payroll for luxury tax purposes, which could make the team liable for salary and tax payments for players acquired to bolster the franchise. 2023 roster. The Dodgers had hoped to keep their payrolls low enough to avoid paying taxes this year.
The Dodgers could try to avoid paying Bauer by claiming he violated a provision of standard contract language that requires him to “conform his personal conduct to standards of good citizenship and good sportsmanship.” That would probably trigger a grievance.
In 2004, after pitcher Denny Neagle was cited on suspicion of soliciting a prostitute, the Colorado Rockies terminated his contract, citing this contract language.
Neagle filed a grievance. In 2005, he and the Rockies reached a settlement under which he was paid about $16 million of the $19.5 million remaining on his contract, according to the Denver Post. In 2006, Neagle pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of “associating with a prostitute” and was sentenced to 40 hours of community service.
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