Trevor Bauer, a Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher who had been suspended for 324 games without pay after an investigation into sexual assault allegations, was reinstated to Major League Baseball on Thursday after an umpire reduced the sentence.
Bauer, who missed 144 games in 2022 due to suspension, has not played since June 2021. His absence includes a lengthy administrative leave at the start of the investigation. Bauer will have his salary suspended for the first 50 games of the 2023 season, but he will be cleared to play immediately thanks to a ruling by Martin F. Scheinman, a neutral umpire who was selected by MLB and the players’ union.
In a statement, MLB cited Scheinman’s assertion that Bauer violated the league’s policy on domestic violence, which the league enacted during its initial suspension.
“Although we believe a longer suspension was warranted, MLB will respect the neutral umpire’s decision, which upholds baseball’s longest active suspension for sexual assault or domestic violence,” the league statement read. .
The suspension will have resulted in Bauer losing $37.5 million in salary between the 2022 and 2023 seasons.
The Dodgers now have two weeks to decide whether to reinstate Bauer to the team roster or release him.
“We have just been informed of the referee’s decision and will comment as soon as possible,” the team said in a press release.
Bauer acknowledged the end of the suspension on Twitter, saying he was excited to post a vlog for the 2023 season.
“I can’t wait to see you soon in a stadium!” he added.
Afterwards, Bauer’s attorneys released a statement, saying, “While we are pleased that Mr. Bauer was reinstated immediately, we disagree that no disciplinary action should have been taken.” imposed. That said, Mr. Bauer looks forward to his return to the field, where his goal remains to help his team win a World Series.
The initial suspension came after a lengthy league investigation into allegations that Bauer had sexually assaulted a woman. Bauer, who joined the Dodgers in 2021 as a free agent, was placed on administrative leave, with pay, on July 2 of this season.
Bauer, 31, spoke in his own defense throughout the process and maintained his innocence against all allegations.
In court filings, a woman said she made contact with Bauer and began a consensual relationship in April 2021, with agreed-upon rough sex, but it led to non-consensual sex acts. She also said she was choked with her hair until she lost consciousness.
Bauer’s attorney had said in a previous statement that his client had messages showing the woman had asked to be choked and slapped during the encounters.
Two other women made similar accusations in Washington Post articles, which Bauer also denied.
Whether or not Bauer will return to the Dodgers will be decided at some point over the next two weeks. He has one year left on a three-year, $102 million contract he signed with Los Angeles ahead of the 2021 season. Bauer joined the Dodgers after winning the National League’s Cy Young Award with Cincinnati in the 2020 season shortened by the pandemic.