Major League Baseball has suspended Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer without pay for two full seasons under its domestic violence and sexual assault policy.
Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred announced the punishment on Friday following an extensive investigation by MLB’s Department of Investigations, according to a news release.
The announcement came four days after Bauer filed a lawsuit in federal court against a San Diego woman who has accused him of sexual assault, a move that came less than three months after prosecutors decided not to file criminal charges against the 31-year-old right -hander.
The woman, whom the pitcher had met through social media, had alleged that Bauer beat and sexually abused her last year. She later sought – but was denied – a restraining order against him. Los Angeles prosecutors said in February there was insufficient evidence to prove the woman’s accusations beyond a reasonable doubt.
“In the strongest possible terms, I deny committing any violation of the league’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy,” Bauer said Friday in a statement. “I am appealing this action and expect to prevail. As we have throughout this process, my representatives and I respect the confidentiality of the proceedings. ”
If the suspension is upheld, Bauer will lose about $ 60m in salary.
The Dodgers also issued a statement on Friday, saying: “Today, we were informed that MLB has concluded its investigation into allegations that have been made against Trevor Bauer, and the Commissioner has issued his decision regarding discipline. The Dodgers organization takes all allegations of this nature very seriously and does not condone or excuse any acts of domestic violence or sexual assault.
“We’ve fully cooperated with MLB’s investigation since it began, and we fully support MLB’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Child Abuse Policy, and the Commissioner’s enforcement of the Policy. We understand that Trevor has the right to appeal the Commission’s decision. Therefore, we will not comment further until the process is complete. ”
Bauer was placed on administrative leave on July 2 under the joint domestic violence and sexual assault policy of MLB and the players’ association. The leave has been repeatedly extended and currently expires Friday.
Bauer has continued to be paid his $ 32m in salary while on leave.
After winning his first Cy Young Award with the Cincinnati Reds in 2020, Bauer agreed to a $ 102m, three-year contract to join his hometown Dodgers. He did not pitch after June 29 and finished with an 8-2 record and a 2.59 ERA in 17 appearances. He was paid his $ 28m salary last year.
The pitcher has repeatedly said that everything that happened between the two was consensual in the nights they spent together last April and May at his Pasadena home. He said the two engaged in rough sex at her suggestion and followed guidelines they agreed to in advance. Each encounter ended with them joking and her spending the night.
Last month, Bauer filed a defamation lawsuit against Athletic and a former reporter, accusing them of “creating and spreading the false narrative” that he fractured the woman’s skull.
“We’re confident in our reporting and plan to defend against the claim,” Athletic spokesman Taylor Patterson previously said in a statement.