Will he stay or go? Here’s what is next for Trevor Bauer and the Dodgers

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.

Dodgers News: Evan Phillips ‘Unlocked A New Level Of Confidence’ With Consistency

Since Mark Prior took over as Dodgers pitching coach following the 2019 season, the team has boasted arguably the best staff on an annual basis. This past year, their bullpen compiled an 8.6 fWAR, Phillips being a main piece to their success. In his first full season with the Dodgers, Phillips expanded upon the glimmers he displayed during the 2021 postseason and hit the ground running.

Dodgers 2023: Prospect Hounds Hyped for Big Righty’s Debut

All five starters have potential to be very good, but they also have the potential to need some time off, so it’s good that L.A. has five other options waiting in the wings. Ryan Pepiot, Michael Grove, and Andre Jackson all got big-league time last year and could make spot starts if necessary. Gavin Stone has rocketed up L.A.’s prospect lists and looks poised to make an impact after posting a 1.48 ERA across three levels of the minors in 2022.

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