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It’s been two months since Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer last appeared in a game, and ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports Bauer will remain a prominent figure in baseball even though he’s not in a uniform.
Since the pitcher’s last appearance on the mound, a California judge rejected a woman’s request for a restraining order against Bauer and the Pasadena Police Department sent its investigation into the woman’s allegations that Bauer sexually assaulted her to the district attorney’s office.
Regardless of whether Bauer is ever charged with a crime, sources told ESPN they expect the league to impose a significant suspension against the 30-year-old. Front office officials now wonder not just whether he will return to the field with the Dodgers but with any team.
Passan said Bauer signed a three-year, $102 million free-agent contract in February, which includes a $10 million signing bonus that already has been paid out in two installments — $8 million in salary paid during the regular season and a $20 million lump-sum deferral due Nov. 30.
If a suspension drops before that payment, the Dodgers could conceivably withhold it, but Bauer would challenge that and argue the money owed him was for time on administrative leave, during which he is paid like an active player, Passan reports.
“The details of the allegations, Bauer’s reputation as a difficult personality, teams’ fear of public backlash and a climate in which allegations of sexual assault have far deeper repercussions than at any time before are like four walls converging on Bauer,” Passan said.
Passan said the league could “keep Bauer on administrative leave ad infinitum” or try to suspend him without pay. Suspending him without pay would be tricky, and some around the league believe that he’ll be out of MLB for at least one year, with a two-year suspension being the likeliest scenario.