Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Trevor Bauer will not return for the remainder of the 2021 MLB season following the latest extension of his stay on administrative leave.
Bauer, who was accused of sexual assault in July, was first placed on MLB’s administrative leave on July 2. It has been extended periodically as the legal battle unfolded before MLB and the MLB Players Association agreed to a final extension on Friday
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the league and union are extending Bauer’s administrative leave until after the World Series concludes. As a result, Bauer is ineligible for the postseason and will not return to the Dodgers in 2021.
The criminal investigation into graphic allegations of sexual assault against Bauer was submitted to the district attorney’s office in Los Angeles. While the case is still being reviewed, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge previously denied a request for a permanent restraining order by his alleged victim, believing Bauer was no longer a threat to the woman.
MLB is still conducting its own investigation into Bauer, but there is no timetable for when it will conclude and when a suspension might be announced.
Will Trevor Bauer play again for the Dodgers?
Signed to a three-year, $102 million contract this offseason, Bauer’s tenure in Los Angeles might be over. Even before the allegations emerged, he was a polarizing figure in the Dodgers’ clubhouse. Once he landed on administrative leave, reports emerged that players don’t want him back.
The 30-year-old holds a $35.333 million player option for the 2022 season and Los Angeles would owe him $2 million if he opts out.
Even if a criminal case against Bauer doesn’t move forward, he could face significant discipline from MLB. Under the league’s rules, it can argue that he violated the league’s personal conduct policy. ESPN previously reported that he could be suspended for at least one year.
While Bauer is currently on paid leave, any suspension could be backdated to the day he was placed on the administrative list. If that happens, MLB could require him to pay back the salary and the games missed would count toward his suspension length.
Given his uncertain future and how Dodgers’ players feel about him, Bauer has likely pitched in Los Angeles for the final time.