When an arbitrator truncated the suspension of Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer three days before Christmas, that opened a 14-day window for the team to decide whether to reinstate him or release him.
As of Monday, they had done neither. Under major league rules, they must decide by Friday.
As Dodgers fans await an announcement, here are some questions and answers on the team’s first big decision of 2023:
Where do the Dodgers stand?
The Dodgers would like to get a copy of the arbitrator’s written rationale for his decision, but that is unlikely. Although the arbitrator has delivered his decision, he has not yet delivered the explanatory report that follows. Even if he had, under baseball’s sexual assault and domestic violence policy, “the confidentiality of player information is essential to the success of this policy,” and so the league cannot disclose any details — even to the team.
Bauer is guaranteed $22.5 million this year. In considering their options, the Dodgers also could be quietly evaluating whether any other team might be willing to trade for Bauer. The other teams could wait to see whether the Dodgers release him, in which case they could sign Bauer for the league minimum of $720,000, with the Dodgers responsible for the remainder of his salary.
It is uncertain whether any other team would sign Bauer if the Dodgers released him, or would trade for him even if the Dodgers paid off most of the deal. It also is uncertain whether any team would acquire Bauer without the opportunity to meet with him first.
The Bauer decision ultimately rests with Mark Walter, the Dodgers’ chairman and controlling owner. In 2015, under Walter’s ownership, the Dodgers backed away from a proposed trade for pitcher Aroldis Chapman after allegations of domestic violence surfaced against him.
How did the Dodgers proceed with Julio Urías after he was suspended?
In 2019, Urías was investigated for domestic violence. He was not charged with a crime but was suspended by the league, and the Dodgers reinstated him after he served his suspension.
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