Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer was given an unprecedented two-season suspension without pay Friday by Major League Baseball for violating the league’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy, a charge he denied. Bauer vowed that he would overturn the decision of an arbitrator.
Under the policy, last July 2, 2020 National League Cy Young Award recipient was placed on administrative leaves. Originally, it was scheduled for seven days. However, it was extended thirteen times before expiring Friday.
Rob Manfred, the Baseball Commissioner, announced that the discipline covers 324 games and is not paid. If it were to be removed, the pitcher would have to pay just $60 million more than the $102 million three-year contract he signed last year.
Bauer vowed to challenge the suspension before Martin Scheinman, baseball’s independent arbitrator, who is faced with deciding whether Manfred had just cause for the discipline under the domestic violence policy agreed to in 2015.
The pitcher met a San Diego woman through social media and she claimed that Bauer had beaten and sexually assaulted her in the past year. Later, she applied for a restraining or order but was turned down. Los Angeles prosecutors said in February there was insufficient evidence to prove the woman’s accusations beyond a reasonable doubt.
Bauer, who hasn’t played since the allegations surfaced and MLB began investigating, repeatedly has said that everything that happened between the two was consensual.
“In the strongest possible terms, I deny committing any violation of the league’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy,” he said Friday in a statement. “I am appealing this action and expect to prevail. As we have throughout this process, my representatives and I respect the confidentiality of the proceedings.”
One of the 15 previously disciplined players was Sam Dyson from 2021, who received a postseason suspension and a full year for being deemed a free agent pitcher. All 15 players disciplined previously under this policy do not appear to have appealed against the penalties before an arbitrator.
Bauer earned $28million last season while on leave and $32 million for the first 22 days. He stands to lose $60,131,868: $28,131,868 of this year’s and $32 million of 2023.
Bauer filed a lawsuit against his accuser this week in federal courts. The move came three months after the pitcher was not charged with a crime. Bauer named Niranjan Fred Thiagarajah (one of her lawyers) as the defendants in his lawsuit. The Associated Press doesn’t usually identify victims of sexual assault.
The lawsuit said that “the damage to Mr. Bauer has been extreme” after the woman alleged that he had choked her into unconsciousness, punched her repeatedly and had anal sex with her without her consent during two sexual encounters last year.
According to the pitcher, they had rough sex at Pasadena’s home on her request and according to guidelines that she agreed upon in advance. He said that they ended each encounter by laughing and she spending the night.
MLB announced the suspension in a short statement that did not provide details of the findings of its investigation, adding: “In accordance with the terms of the policy, the commissioner’s office will not issue any further statements at this point in time.”
The Washington Post reported Friday that a Columbus, Ohio woman said Bauer had crossed the legal line while having sex in 2013, and 2014. The woman, who was not identified, said the sex was consensual but that “things happened outside of my consent” during intercourse, the Post reported.
According to the woman, Bauer had choked her during sex dozens of times. She claimed that Bauer had anal sex once she was conscious again.
Bauer said in a statement sent through his representatives that he had a “casual and wholly consensual sexual relationship from 2013-2018” with the woman, which began when he was pitching for the Triple-A team in Columbus.
“None of our meetings ever involved a single non-consensual, let alone illegal, act,” Bauer said. “In fact, she is the one who introduced me to choking, both in our relationship and as a consensual act during sex. The incidents she detailed to the Washington Post — and specifically the one that involved non-consensual choking in which she claims to have convulsed and woken up on a hotel floor — absolutely never occurred, in any capacity.”
Bauer signed with his home team, the Dodgers after he won his first Cy Young award in 2020. Bauer did not start after June 29, but he finished his 17-inning stint with an 8-2 record, and a 2.59 ERA. His $28million salary was paid to him last year.
Los Angeles did not respond to requests for comment until the arbitration was complete.
“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,” the team’s statement said. “We’ve cooperated fully with MLB’s investigation since it began, and we fully support MLB’s” policy and enforcement.
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