Dodgers cut ties with Bauer as suspension ends

The Los Angeles Dodgers said Friday they were parting ways with pitcher Trevor Bauer as his suspension over sexual assault allegations ended.

Bauer's suspension had been slashed from 324 to 194 games by an independent arbitrator in December.

But in a statement posted on Twitter the Dodgers said that "extensive reviews of all the available evidence" by Major League Baseball and the arbitrator had determined that Bauer deserved the longest ever suspension handed out to an active player.

"Now that this process has been completed, and after careful consideration, we have decided that he will no longer be part of our organization," the Dodgers said.

Under MLB rules regarding players returning from suspension the Dodgers had until Friday -- two weeks from the date of the arbitrator's decision to reduce the ban -- to decide whether to return him to the roster or release him.

Bauer, who turns 32 this month, won the 2020 National League Cy Young Award and was a marquee free agent signing by the Dodgers before the 2021 season.

In June of 2021, however, a woman sought a restraining order against him in Los Angeles County Court, alleging he choked her to unconsciousness and punched her in the head during a consensual sexual encounter.

Bauer denied assaulting her and no criminal charges were ever brought against him.

Bauer filed a defamation lawsuit against the woman and two media outlets over their coverage of the accusations.

However, MLB placed him on administrative leave and launched an investigation that found he violated the league's sexual assault and domestic violence policy.

Although the arbitrator reduced the punishment, she also found that he violated MLB policy.

His original suspension, announced in April of 2022, would have sidelined him for two full seasons.

He is now eligible to pitch on Opening Day, should another team be willing to take him on.

The Dodgers signed him before the 2021 season on a three-year, $102 million contract.

His career had been in limbo since July 2, 2021, when he was placed on paid leave amid the allegations and he immediately vowed to fight when MLB announced his original suspension on April 29, 2022.

Bauer himself issued a statement saying the Dodgers had told him on Thursday that they wanted him to return.

"While we were unable to communicate throughout the administrative leave and arbitration process, my representatives spoke to Dodgers leadership immediately following the arbitration decision," Bauer said in his statement, which he posted on Twitter.

"Following two weeks of conversations around my return to the organization, I sat down with Dodgers leadership in Arizona yesterday (Thursday) who told me that they wanted me to return and pitch for the team this year.

"While I am disappointed by the organization’s decision today, I appreciate the wealth of support I’ve received from the Dodgers clubhouse. I wish the players all the best and look forward to competing elsewhere."

bb/sev