Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
After reportedly exploring a potential Trevor Bauer trade for more than two weeks, the Los Angeles Dodgers made the decision to provide the right-hander with his unconditional release on January 12.
The Dodgers were put on the clock in late December when an independent arbitrator reduced Bauer’s suspension from 324 games to 194 and reinstated him effective immediately. It left L.A. with a January 6 deadline to either put Bauer back on their 40-man roster or begin the process of cutting ties.
Since the time Bauer was first put on paid administrative leave by MLB during the 2021 season, there were separate reports over how welcomed he was in the Dodgers clubhouse.
Initially it was reported a majority of the players did not want to see Bauer back with the team. More recently, some were said to have informed the front office of wanting the 32-year-old back this season.
Dodger players did not comment on the record throughout the Bauer saga, though last week Freddie Freeman said he was not among those to discuss the matter and eventual decision with the front office.
“I’ve been dad and husband as much as I can in the offseason,” Freeman said from the CT3 Foundation “Driving For Hope” event at Topgolf El Segundo.
“I do know that was an ownership call. I was talking to Andrew Friedman, and that was a Dodgers call.”
Because the Dodgers face the reality of owing $22.5 million in salary to Bauer for the 2023 season and luxury tax implications, there was some belief the team would ultimately decide on keeping him part of the roster.
“It played out how I think everyone thought it was going to play out,” Freeman said. “I wasn’t around in ’21 when he was here, so I think that’s more of a question for those guys and how they liked him, or didn’t like him, or what.
Freeman: Dodgers not impacted by Bauer investigation
Bauer made just 17 starts for the Dodgers after signing a three-year, $102 million contract, and uncertainty with his future seemed to hover over the organization through 2022. However, Freeman echoed a sentiment previously shared by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts that Bauer was not a distraction.
“With him not being around last year, nothing was really going on. No one was really talking about it,” Freeman said.
“I know that they weren’t expecting it this early in the offseason, but it’s almost kind of good to get it over with, move on and focus on the season.”
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