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Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer has won the appeal of his 324-game suspension.
Bob Nightengale of USAToday shared a statement from Major League Baseball announcing arbitrator Martin Scheinman reduced Bauer’s suspension to 194 games, meaning he is reinstated.
Bob Nightengale @BNightengal
The official statement by MLB on Trevor Bauer’s suspension reduced to 194 games, reinstating him pic.twitter.com/sQs81yHpSn
“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,” the statement said.
On April 29, Major League Baseball announced a 324-game suspension for Bauer covering two full seasons. The suspension didn’t include the games he was ineligible to play while on administrative leave.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan noted on a May 2022 episode of the Baseball Tonight Podcast that a reduced suspension was the most likely outcome from Bauer’s grievance against MLB.
“When you look at a suspension as enormous as this one, typically huge suspensions find some kind of reduction,” Passan said (h/t SI.com‘s Inside the Dodgers). “I don’t know if it’s going to be a half-season, I don’t know if it’s going to be a full season. But MLB believes that it has a mountain of evidence against Trevor Bauer.”
Bauer hasn’t appeared in a game since June 28, 2021. Two days later, Southern California law enforcement officials confirmed they were investigating the right-handed pitcher amid allegations he assaulted a woman after she contacted police on approximately May 16.
Jon Fetterolf, Bauer’s attorney, released a statements on behalf of his client denying the allegations:
“Mr. Bauer had a brief and wholly consensual sexual relationship initiated by [his accuser] beginning in April 2021. We have messages that show [his accuser] repeatedly asking for ‘rough’ sexual encounters. In the days following their second and final encounter, [his accuser] shared photos of herself and indicated that she had sought medical care for a concussion. Mr. Bauer responded with concern and confusion, and [his accuser] was neither angry nor accusatory.”
The woman who accused Bauer was granted a temporary restraining order against him. It what dissolved in August 2021 when Los Angeles Superior Court judge Dianna Gould-Saltman denied her request for a permanent restraining order.
MLB placed Bauer on administrative leave on July 2, 2021. Since administrative leave only covers a period of seven days, the league continued to extend it as its investigation into the allegations continued.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced in February it would not pursue criminal charges against Bauer.
“After a thorough review of all the available evidence, including the civil restraining order proceedings, witness statements and the physical evidence, the people are unable to prove the relevant charges beyond a reasonable doubt,” the DA’s office statement said.
Bauer tweeted after the suspension was announced that he was appealing the decision and denied violating MLB’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy.
Trevor Bauer @BauerOutage
In the strongest possible terms, I deny committing any violation of the league’s domestic violence & sexual assault policy. I am appealing to this action and expect to prevail. As we have throughout this process, my representatives & I respect the confidentiality of the proceedings.
On the same day the suspension was announced, Gus Garcia Roberts of the Washington Post reported a second woman spoke out publicly, accusing Bauer of choking her unconscious without her consent, among other things.
in May, Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported people within the sport were uncertain whether Bauer will ever pitch in MLB again.
“No one wants to stand up there next to him,” one longtime baseball person told Heyman.
Bauer’s contract with the Dodgers will expire after the 2023 season, though Heyman noted the team could potentially release him now that the result of his appeal is known. The 31-year-old signed a three-year, $102 million contract with Los Angeles in February 2021.