Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Whereas Mookie Betts quickly became a key part of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ long-term future, Trevor Bauer figured to have a much shorter stint with the team after signing a three-year contract.
Bauer’s record-setting contract with the Dodgers came on the heels of the team winning a World Series for the first time since 1988, and he was touted by president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman as being integral to repeating as champions.
Bauer’s time with the Dodgers lasted less than half a season as he was accused of sexual assault and placed on administrative leave by MLB amid an investigation into the claims. The Dodgers ultimately released Bauer in January 2023 despite an arbitrator reducing a 324-game suspension to 194 games and immediately reinstating him from the restricted list.
That led to Bauer signing with the Yokohama BayStars of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) in Japan two months later. While his future and possibly returning to MLB is uncertain, Betts said he hoped teams would consider signing Bauer, according to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times:
“It’s something to think about,” Betts said.
Betts went on to speak glowingly about his former teammate and their brief time together:
“My experience with Bauer is not anything remotely close to what everyone else’s experience is. I love him. I think he’s an awesome guy. The personal things? I have no control. I have no say. Obviously, nothing ever came from it.
“He’s an awesome pitcher. He’s a great guy, somebody who wants to take the mound every fifth day. But, at the end of the day, I don’t make the decision. That’s a decision that’s not as simple as baseball.”
There were conflicting reports over how open players were to Bauer possibly returning with the Dodgers. Team president and CEO Stan Kasten said the front office came to a unified decision to release the right-hander, who claimed some with the Dodgers wanted him back on the team.
Bauer made just 17 starts during the 2021 season before going on the restricted list. While MLB commissioner Rob Manfred imposed a record suspension, Bauer was never criminally charged and recently agreed to a settlement with one accuser.
Other women have also brought forth sexual assault allegations.
Dodgers paid Trevor Bauer
Due to an independent arbitrator making Bauer eligible to play this season, the Dodgers were required to pay his $22.5 million salary for 2023.
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