When Trevor Bauer last climbed the mound, he seemed to have reached the pinnacle of his pitching career. By the summer of 2021, his talents that made him his first-round draft pick and his curiosity that unlocked a cutting-edge training regiment had finally converged. He was a reigning Cy Young Award winner, his top earner and top performer in his professional career, and a legitimate ace on his one of the sport’s most celebrated pitching staffs. . After that, everything changed.
And now, it’s natural to wonder if Bauer’s major league career is over.
After much longer consideration than many expected, the Los Angeles Dodgers have confirmed that Bauer’s career will not continue with the organization. Two weeks after the suspension was reduced from 324 games to 194 games, they designated Bauer to the quota on Friday. The Dodgers would get his $22.5 million out of Bauer’s 2023 salary, but could save $720,000 if another team signed him for the lowest amount. And now the main question is: Do you have a team that does that?
The industry view can be summed up in one word: unlikely, but not impossible.
ESPN polled 24 agents and front-office executives last month to gauge the potential of Bauer’s free-agent market, and responses didn’t deviate much further. The reaction went hand in hand with what a rival general manager unequivocally stated in a text message on the night of December 22nd. Shortly after, an independent arbitrator ruled that in 2022 he would ditch Bauer, who had already played 144 games. His first 50 games of the 2023 season will resume soon.
“I don’t think anyone would sign him,” GM wrote.
Bauer’s sentence was eventually reduced by 40 percent, but mediators, who spent part of eight months reviewing the findings and hearing testimony, found the case under the domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy. decided he deserved the longest suspension. In August 2015 he was signed to MLB by the MLB Players Association.
Bauer, 31, is the 16th player to be suspended under this policy and the first to have multiple accusers publicly known. He had three women of his own, and Bauer essentially had too much consensual rough sex. His two other women.
“Nobody touched the guy,” an agent recently told ESPN. “Not a chance.”
But both before and after the cuts were announced, the possibility was raised by a handful of agents and executives ESPN has spoken to in recent weeks. We have an excellent track record. And soon, barring the unlikely scenario of the Dodgers finding a trade partner, Bauer can get by on the minimum major league salary is rarer than ever.
“I think there’s at least a team that’s interested,” said another agent.
“Some teams will just show their arm,” added the front-office executive.
Jeff Rounough’s Houston Astros took a similar approach, acquiring notable closer Roberto Osuna from the Toronto Blue Jays in July 2018. in a trade, and subsequently signed him to a record deal, despite more than 20 women filing lawsuits against him for sexual misconduct. Talent often transcends morality, and professional sports are littered with examples.
But Bauer will pose a unique challenge for future new employers, rival executives say. As he explained, it’s not just the blemish on the organization’s reputation or the backlash from fans or the general negativity that surrounds it: Bauer didn’t show the slightest bit of remorse throughout this process. takes the opposite approach and vigorously pursues all allegations.
One agent said, “If you contract someone with that kind of baggage, you have to take him on a refurbishment tour, and I don’t think he’s going to be able to do that.”
In that regard, Bauer’s public reaction to the arbitrator’s ruling was little more than a short tweet of 18 words and two emojis.
It was an encapsulation of how Bauer approached the sexual assault allegations levied against him. Remember that he doesn’t care or feel obligated to explain his mistakes or apologize to those hurt by his actions. Had – An uncertain major league future for a man who believes it shouldn’t matter.
Long-term suspensions like Bauer’s are extremely rare in the MLBPA’s 56-year history, and provide players with a path to combat lifelong suspensions that were so common in previous decades. gave.
Jenrry Mejia was banned for life in 2016 after multiple positive PED tests, but returned two years later. Dwight Gooden and Steve Howe have been suspended for over a year for drug and alcohol-related problems. All Perez were suspended for 162 games for their association with PED. Sam Dyson also received a 162-game suspension for violating his domestic violence policy in March 2021. Bauer has since surpassed it, making him one of only three active players in the past half-century, along with Mejia and Gooden. Suspension over a full season.
That is the history Bauer deals with.
It’s a history that prospective suitors must take into account.
I don’t think anyone would take the risk, but in the words of one GM:
“You only need one team.”
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