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Five questions about Trevor Bauer’s potential MLB return as Dodgers face deadline for decision

Five questions about Trevor Bauer's potential MLB return as Dodgers face deadline for decision

Back on Dec. 22, an arbitrator reduced Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer’s suspension, which was issued under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy, from 324 games to 194 games. (Bauer’s suspension remains the longest the league has ever imposed under the policy.) In accordance with Rule 2(c), the Dodgers were given a two-week window to either reinstate Bauer to their roster or to release him outright.

Said two-week window will expire on Friday (Jan. 6), leaving the Dodgers with just a few days to make their final decision. Below, CBS Sports has answered five pertinent questions concerning the Bauer situation, including why he was suspended in the first place, and what happens if the Dodgers release him.

1. When and why was Bauer suspended?

Bauer was initially suspended in April 2022 following a league inquiry into assault allegations. He was placed on administrative leave following a start on June 28, 2021 while the league and the Pasadena police department investigated the accusations. The police department announced last February that Bauer would not face criminal charges. MLB retains the right to discipline players for policy violations even if they don’t result in arrests or convictions. 

In June 2021, The Athletic published an article detailing one woman’s accusations against Bauer. “I agreed to have consensual sex; however, I did not agree or consent to what he did next. I did not agree to be sexually assaulted,” she told reporters Britt Ghiroli and Katie Strang. The Athletic’s report can be read here, though be warned that it includes graphic details from a restraining order request, such as allegations Bauer punched and strangled the woman.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge later declined the woman’s temporary restraining order against Bauer. (U.S. District Judge James Selna decreed in November that that decision “did not necessarily decide that Bauer did not batter or sexually assault [her.]”)

2. Why was Bauer’s suspension reduced?

The independent arbitrator who reduced Bauer’s suspension has issued only their ruling, but not their explanation, according to the Los Angeles Times. Don’t expect to learn about the thought process behind the decision anytime soon. As reporter Bill Shaikin noted, the explanation is confidential and the league cannot share information with either the public or the Dodgers.

3. What…

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