The inevitability that had become a certainty was made official on Friday when Major League Baseball (MLB) and the MLB Players Association reached an agreement to extend Trevor Bauer’s administrative leave for the remaining 2021 season, according to ESPN.
Bauer, who has been absent from the Los Angeles Dodgers Dodgers since July 2nd when MLB began an independent investigation, will be on administrative leave through the remainder of September and into October. According to a source familiar with the situation, MLB will not decide on a possible suspension until the offseason.
Jon Fetterolf, Rachel Luba and Bauer made a statement in which they said: "Today, Mr. Bauer agreed that he would extend his administrative leave through playoffs as a measure of good will and to minimize any distractions to the Dodgers team and his teammates." He will continue to cooperate with the MLB investigation, and deny the baseless accusations against him.
A San Diego woman accused Bauer of sexual assault has stated that Bauer choked her unconscious multiple times, sexually assaulted her without her consent, and punched her all over her body during two sexual encounters at his Pasadena home, California on April 22nd and May 16th. The latter left her with serious injuries which required medical attention. Although the woman claimed that the initial encounters were consensual, including a request to be choked unconscious as shown in messages between Bauer and her, Bauer went too far during lengthy testimony.
On Aug. 19, a judge at L.A. County Superior Court denied the woman her request for a permanent restraint order. He ruled that Bauer was not a continuous threat to the woman and that her injuries were not due to anything she had said or done during the encounters. Eight days later, Pasadena Police Department closed an investigation lasting more than three months. They turned over evidence to the L.A. County District Attorney's Office. This office will decide whether Bauer should be prosecuted.
Bauer's leave was previously extended eight times in increments of seven to 13 days. The DA's Office did not expect to give a decision in the foreseeable future, so Bauer was granted a longer extension. A source confirmed that no new information has been found in the investigation. Due to the uncertainty on the criminal side of the matter, Bauer didn't testify at the hearing last month. He also likely hasn't spoken with league officials. MLB would love to talk with Bauer about this incident before considering a suspension.
The Washington Post published an Aug. 14 story stating that Bauer was accused by another woman, who is based in Ohio, of punching her and choking during sex. She also claimed that Bauer filed a petition for a restraining orders last summer, which she then withdrew six weeks later. Bauer's lawyers called the allegations of that woman "categorically false" while strongly denying the assault allegations.
Bauer, who is 30 years old, won the National League Cy Young Award in 2020 as a Cincinnati Reds player. In February, he signed a record-breaking three-year contract worth $102 million with the Dodgers. He will be the highest-paid athlete in the game with the two option of being a player and a salary that could reach $40 million by 2021.
Before being placed on administrative leaves, Bauer was 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA. He also had 137 strikeouts in 107 innings. This was over 17 starts. His absence pushed the Dodgers to trade for three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, who came over from the Washington Nationals alongside shortstop-turned-second baseman Trea Turner. Scherzer has a 1.32 ERA in seven Dodgers starts since joining them. The Dodgers also have Walker Buehler and Tony Gonsolin, as well as Clayton Kershaw who is expected to return from the injured list Monday.
Bauer will still be paid his agreed-upon salary during administrative leave. He can earn up to $47 million in 2022, a $32 million salary plus $15 million opt-out 2023. However, a possible suspension could affect the amount that the Dodgers ultimately owe him.