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What is the current situation for Trevor Bauer? LA Dodgers contract, lawsuits and return to baseball

With his appeal to MLB on one side and a number of defamation lawsuits on the other, the Dodgers pitcher is fighting a battle on two fronts.

Update:
What is the current situation for Trevor Bauer? LA Dodgers contract, lawsuits and return to baseball
Katelyn MulcahyGetty Images

While there are many offseason storylines for Los Angeles Dodgers fans consider, the one involving Trevor Bauer’s appeal hearing is unfortunately likely to take center stage and in truth may well have major effects on the season to come.

What happened with Trevor Bauer?

Back in June of 2021, news broke that Bauer was under investigation for serious allegations of physical and sexual assault against a San Diego woman. The woman in question would later receive a domestic violence restraining order. At that point, MLB placed the Dodgers pitcher on administrative leave - July 2nd - and Dodgers quickly followed the move by removing his merchandise from their team store. For his part, Bauer has since acknowledged having sexual contact with his accuser but has maintained that it was “wholly consensual.” Regardless, what happened next was unprecedented. Bauer filed defamation lawsuits in March of this year, but that was followed by MLB taking the step to suspend the 31-year-old for 324 games, the longest non-lifetime ban in the history of the sport. This brings us to the present, where things have got even stickier.

What’s Trevor Bauer’s current situation?

To date, Bauer has filed five defamation lawsuits, however, one of them could be thrown out due to a “misrepresenting the findings of the judge who denied a restraining order to the woman who accused him of sexual assault.” Where Bauer’s legal battle against MLB is concerned, there was in fact a hearing held back in May, however, there has been no conclusion as yet due to the “voluminous evidence” being sorted through by Bauer’s attorney. It’s also quite likely that Bauer’s defamation suits against his accuser will be factored into any legal wrangling with MLB over his suspension.

When could the Dodgers get an answer on Trevor Bauer?

To be frank, it’s quite hard to see Bauer returning to the field for the Dodgers. Aside from the length of suspension and negative PR, there is a complex situation surrounding his contract. Bauer’s deal remains one of the more bizarre situations we’ve seen. A three-year, $103 million deal with a player option for the 2023 season that’s worth $35.3 million and has a $15 million buyout. As he did last year, Bauer is widely expected to opt in for the remainder of his contract while the legal battle continues. If MLB rules in his favor, that could create a very awkward financial scenario for the Dogers.

In 2022, the franchise didn’t have to deal with the aforementioned $35.3 million because he was suspended, however, things could become retroactive if Bauer wins his appeal. At that point, the Dodgers would have to come up with the cash while seeing it count against their payroll tax whether he’s on the roster or not. We’re guessing the Dodgers will continue to operate under the assumption that Bauer will not be playing, which leads to the simple question of when will there be clarity? Here and now it’s hard to say whether it’ll be a matter of days or months, but it would probably be best for the Dodgers to just cut their losses where Bauer is concerned regardless of what happens.

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