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Trevor Bauer reinstated by arbitrator, can pitch in 2023

Jun 22, 2021; San Diego, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Trevor Bauer (top) looks on from the dugout during the fifth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

A neutral arbitrator reinstated Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer on Thursday, effective immediately, reducing Major League Baseball’s banishment of 324 games, or roughly two full seasons, for violating the league’s domestic violence policy.

Bauer, 31, is now eligible to pitch in 2023.

The arbitrator did, however, uphold an unpaid suspension of 194 games — 144 games he was suspended for in 2022 and an additional 50 games in 2023.

“While we believe a longer suspension was warranted, MLB will abide by the neutral arbitrator’s decision, which upholds baseball’s longest-ever active player suspension for sexual assault or domestic violence,” MLB said Thursday in a release. “We understand this process was difficult for the witnesses involved and we thank them for their participation. Due to the collectively bargained confidentiality provisions of the joint program, we are unable to provide further details at this time.”

The Dodgers now have until Jan. 6 to decide whether to reinstate Bauer to their 40-man roster.

MLB suspended Bauer for two full seasons in April over allegations made by a woman who claimed Bauer sexually assaulted her over two encounters.

Bauer filed suit against the woman, contending the woman “fabricated allegations of sexual assault” and “made false and malicious statements” as she sought a domestic violence restraining order against him.

She countersued in August, claiming Bauer committed acts of violence during sex, including choking her until she lost consciousness. She also said that she woke up to him punching her between the legs in one instance and to him having non-consensual sex with her in another.

Bauer and the woman both have said they engaged in sexual activity twice during the pitcher’s debut season with the Dodgers. Bauer has said it was consensual and that he didn’t do anything the woman didn’t ask him to do.

A Los Angeles judge denied the woman’s request for a restraining order last summer, and the district attorney’s office later declined to press charges.

Bauer hasn’t pitched since June 28, 2021, and he was placed on administrative leave the following month. Following a Major League Baseball investigation, commissioner Rob Manfred in April suspended Bauer for two years for violating MLB’s policy on sexual assault and domestic violence.

The Dodgers signed Bauer, who won the 2020 National League Cy Young Award, to a three-year, $102 million contract after that season. He was paid while on administrative leave.

Bauer made just 17 starts in 2021 and pitched 107 2/3 innings to begin his stint with the Dodgers. He was 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA and received his full base salary of $28 million in 2021.

Bauer, an All-Star in 2018, owns an 83-69 record with a 3.79 ERA in 222 career appearances (212 starts) with the Arizona Diamondbacks, then-Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds and Dodgers.

–Field Level Media