Dodgers Rumors: Trevor Bauer Decision May Not Come Until Closer To January Deadline

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The Los Angeles Dodgers have operated in free agency with an apparent goal of not exceeding the luxury tax threshold for the 2023 season, and that was further complicated by uncertainty stemming from the situation involving Trevor Bauer.

Bauer and the Dodgers gained some clarity last week when an independent arbitrator reduced his record suspension from 324 games to 194 and immediately reinstated the right-hander from the restricted list. Martin F. Scheinman did affirm Bauer violated MLB’s joint domestic violence and sexual assault policy, and docked his pay for the first 50 games of 2023.

Nevertheless, the ruling put the Dodgers on the clock with respect to making a decision regarding Bauer’s future with the club.

Indications are they remain undecided and could wait until the final days leading up to the January 6, 2023 deadline to determine what course of action to take with Bauer, according to Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:

Yet, as of Thursday night, club executives were still discussing how they would proceed, according to people with knowledge of the situation, and could wait to make a final decision until closer to the Jan. 6 deadline to either release Bauer or activate him.

Bauer’s last start for the Dodgers came on June 28, 2021, which was his first season with the team after signing a three-year, $102 million contract. Bauer was accused of sexual assault by a woman in San Diego, but he did not face criminal charges.

That brought to light a report of an Ohio woman who sought a restraining order against Bauer in 2020. A second woman from Ohio claimed in April 2022 she too had been a victim of sexual assault by Bauer.

As his appeal with MLB was ongoing, Bauer additionally filed various defamation lawsuits.

The Dodgers have declined comment on Bauer since MLB commissioner Rob Manfred levied the suspension. “We have just been informed of the arbitrator’s ruling and will comment as soon as practical,” the Dodgers said in a statement after Scheinman’s decision was announced.

Dodgers options with Trevor Bauer

Come Jan. 6, the Dodgers will need to have put Bauer back on their 40-man roster, traded him or release the 31-year-old.

If they decide to cut Bauer from the organization, the Dodgers still would be required to pay him $22.5 million for 2023. That figure could decline to roughly $21.8 million if Bauer is released and sigs with a new team for the league minimum salary.

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