NEW YORK –
Major League Baseball imposed an unprecedented two-year, unpaid suspension on Trevor Bauer on Friday after determining the Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher had violated baseball’s policies on domestic violence and sexual assault.
Bauer has denied that infraction and warned that he will seek the revocation of the disciplinary measure before an arbitration judge.
The 2020 National League Cy Young Award-winning pitcher was suspended with pay on July 2 under MLB policies.
Originally he was suspended for seven days, but the measure was extended 13 times. It was due to expire on Friday.
Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred announced the ban, which covers 324 games without pay. If it remains standing, the measure will cost the 31-year-old pitcher more than 60 million, given that he had signed a contract for 102 million and three seasons, effective from the previous year.
Bauer has vowed to challenge the suspension before Martin Scheinman, baseball’s independent arbitration judge, who will have to decide whether Manfred had “just cause” for imposing the disciplinary action under MLB policies agreed to in 2015.
The lengthy suspension comes after a San Diego woman whom the pitcher met on social media said Bauer beat and sexually assaulted her last year.
Los Angeles prosecutors determined in February that there was insufficient evidence to prove the woman’s allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.
Bauer, who hasn’t played since the allegations surfaced following an investigation by the majors, has emphasized that everything between him and the woman was consensual.
“In the strongest possible terms, I deny any violation of the league’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy,” Bauer said in a statement released Friday. “I will appeal this average and I hope to prevail. As we have done throughout this process, my representatives and I respect the confidentiality of the proceedings.”
Among 15 players previously disciplined under the policies in question, the longest suspension was a full season, with one postseason, for free agent pitcher Sam Dyson in 2021.
None of the players previously sanctioned under these provisions would have challenged them in arbitration.
Bauer continued to receive his pay while he was suspended. Last season he earned his full salary of $28 million. In the current campaign he had obtained his remuneration corresponding to 22 days, with respect to a salary of 32 million for the whole year.
He would lose $60,131,868 in total, $28,131,868 for this year and $32 million for the 2023 season.
Bauer this week filed a lawsuit against his accuser in federal court, an action that comes less than three months after prosecutors decided not to press charges against the pitcher.
Bauer named the woman and one of her attorneys, Niranjan Fred Thiagarajah, as defendants in the lawsuit. The Associated Press does not typically identify people who have been victims of sexual assault.
The suit says “the harm to Mr. Bauer has been extreme” after the woman said he had strangled her unconscious, punched her numerous times and raped her anus during two sexual encounters last year.
The pitcher insists that they both agreed to have rough sex at the athlete’s residence in Pasadena. He claims that the two parties established the parameters of their relationship in advance.
And after each sexual encounter, the two joked around and spent the night together, the pitcher said.
Major League Baseball announced the suspension in a terse statement that gave no details of the investigation’s findings.
“Pursuant to the terms of the policy, the commissioner’s office will not be issuing any further statements at this time,” the statement said.
After winning his first Cy Young Award with the Cincinnati Reds in 2020, Bauer agreed to a three-year, $102 million contract with the Dodgers. He didn’t pitch again after June 29 and went 8-2 with a 2.59 ERA in 18 appearances.
“The Dodgers organization takes these allegations very seriously and does not condone or excuse any act of domestic violence or sexual assault,” the team said in a statement. “We have fully cooperated with Major League Baseball’s investigation since its inception and fully support Major League Baseball’s Joint Policy on Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Maltreatment and the commissioner’s compliance with the measure. We understand that Trevor has the right to appeal the commissioner’s decision. Therefore, we will not comment further until the process is complete.”
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.