Major League Baseball pitcher Trevor Bauer has been reinstated to the Los Angeles Dodgers after his suspension amid allegations of sexual assault and domestic violence.
Bauer was suspended for two seasons without pay in April 2022, but an arbitrator on Thursday upheld the suspension only for the first season. The order rids Bauer of the second season suspension, meaning he’s now back in good standing with MLB and eligible to play when the next season begins.
The Dodgers said in a statement, “We have just been informed of the arbitrator’s ruling and will comment as soon as practical.”
Bauer’s lawyers said while they are “pleased that Mr. Bauer has been reinstated immediately, we disagree that any discipline should have been 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,” according to the statement.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office declined to charge Bauer with a crime based on allegations from a woman who said they agreed to engage in rough sex that became more violent than she anticipated, but MLB initiated an investigation that focused on the woman’s allegations, as well as reports from two other women about allegedly violent sexual encounters with Bauer.
MLB noted that arbitrator Martin F. Scheinman’s decision docks Bauer’s salary for the first 50 games of the 2023 season, which is from March 30, 2023 to May 23, 2023.
“While we believe a longer suspension was warranted, MLB will abide by the neutral arbitrator’s decision, which upholds baseball’s longest-ever active player suspension for sexual assault or domestic violence,” according to the statement, which noted Bauer had lost pay covering the 144 games he was suspended during the 2022 season. “We understand this process was difficult for the witnesses involved and we thank them for their participation. Due to the collectively bargained confidentiality provisions of the joint program, we are unable to provide further details at this time.”
The arbitrator’s order occurred amid Bauer’s legal battle against accuser Lindsey Hill and media organizations that reported on the allegations and the Los Angeles County Superior Court restraining order hearing. Hill’s attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the development.
His lawyers are asking Senior U.S. District Judge James V. Selna in Santa Ana to reconsider Bauer’s motion to strike Hill’s counterclaims. The judge last month rejected the motion, concluding that another judge never cleared the former Dodgers star of wrongdoing, as Bauer’s lawyers claim. Selna also granted a motion to strike Bauer’s claims against Hill’s former lawyer, Niranjan “Fred” Thiagarajan.
Bauer also is suing the sports journalism website The Athletic and journalist Molly Knight for defamation over their coverage of Hill’s accusations. In Los Angeles, U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald is currently considering defense motions to dismiss and strike.
Additionally, Bauer has a defamation lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against G/O Media, Inc., which owns the website Deadspin, and Deadspin Managing Editor Chris Baud for their coverage.
(Image: Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
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