LOs Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer was handed an unprecedented two-season unpaid suspension by Major League Baseball on Friday for violating the league’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy. , a charge he denied. He vowed to overturn discipline in front of a referee.
The 2020 National League Cy Young Award winner was placed on administrative leave on July 2 under the policy. The leave was originally set at seven days, has been extended 13 times and was due to expire on Friday.
Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred announced the discipline, which covers 324 games without pay and which, if left in place, would cost the 31-year-old pitcher just over $60 million on a $102 million contract over three years which began last year.
Bauer has vowed to challenge the suspension to Martin Scheinman, baseball’s independent umpire, who must decide whether Manfred had cause for discipline under the domestic violence policy agreed to in 2015.
A San Diego woman, whom the pitcher met on social media, alleged that Bauer beat and sexually abused her last year. She later applied for but was denied a restraining order. Los Angeles prosecutors said in February there was insufficient evidence to prove the woman’s charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
Bauer, who hasn’t played since the allegations surfaced and MLB began investigating, has repeatedly said everything that happened between the two was consensual.
“In the strongest possible terms, I deny any violation of the league’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy,” he said in a statement Friday. “I am appealing this action and expect 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 policy, the longest suspension was a full season and postseason for free agent pitcher Sam Dyson in 2021. None of the players previously disciplined under the policy appear to have challenged the sanction before a referee.
Bauer was paid during his administrative leave, a full salary of $28 million last season and the first 22 days of a salary of $32 million this season. He stands to lose $60,131,868: $28,131,868 this year and $32 million in 2023.
Earlier this week, Bauer sued his accuser in federal court, a decision that came less than three months after prosecutors decided not to press charges against the pitcher. Bauer named the woman and one of her lawyers, Niranjan Fred Thiagarajah, as defendants in the lawsuit. The Associated Press does not generally identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted.
The lawsuit said ‘the damage done to Mr Bauer was extreme’ after the woman alleged he choked her unconscious, repeatedly punched her and had sex anal sex with her without her consent in two sexual encounters last year.
The pitcher said the pair had rough sex at his Pasadena home at his suggestion and followed guidelines they agreed to beforehand. Each encounter ended in pleasantries and she spent the night, he said.
MLB announced the suspension in a brief statement that did not provide details on the findings of its investigation, adding, “Consistent with the terms of policy, the commissioner’s office will not issue any further statements at this time.”
The Washington Post published an article on Friday in which a woman from Columbus, Ohio, said Bauer crossed the line during sex in 2013 and 2014. The woman, who has not been identified, said the sex was consensual but that “things happened outside of my consent” during sex, the Post reported.
The woman said Bauer choked her unconscious dozens of times during sex. Once, after regaining consciousness, she said that Bauer was having anal sex without her consent.
Bauer said in a statement sent through his reps that he had a “casual and entirely consensual sexual relationship from 2013 to 2018” with the woman, which began when he was casting for the Triple-A team in Columbus.
“None of our meetings ever involved a single act that was non-consensual, let alone illegal,” Bauer said. “In fact, she was the one who introduced me to choking, both in our relationship and as a consensual act during sex. The incidents she detailed to The Washington Post – and in particular the one which involved a non-consensual choking in which she claims to have convulsed and woke up on a hotel floor – absolutely never happened, in any capacity.
After winning his first Cy Young with the Cincinnati Reds in 2020, Bauer agreed to join his hometown Dodgers. He did not pitch after June 29 and finished with an 8-2 record and a 2.59 ERA in 17 appearances. He received his $28 million salary last year.
Los Angeles declined to comment until the arbitration process is complete.
“The Dodgers organization takes all allegations of this nature very seriously and does not condone or condone any act of domestic violence or sexual assault,” the team statement read. “We have fully cooperated with MLB’s investigation since its inception, and we fully support MLB’s policy and enforcement.”
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