#Report #Dodgers #surprised #aspect #Bauer #decision
The Los Angeles Dodgers have two weeks to decide what they want to do with Trevor Bauer now that the he has been reinstated, and it sounds like they expected to have more time to address the situation.
Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times was told by people familiar with the situation that the Dodgers did not expect Bauer’s arbitration ruling to come for at least another few weeks. Team officials were alerted that Bauer’s suspension was reduced less than an hour before Major League Baseball announced the news. Some with the Dodgers had no advanced notice.
Bauer was suspended for two full seasons — 324 games — back in April. He had the suspension reduced by an arbitrator to 194 games, which is the portion of the ban he had already served. That made Bauer immediately eligible.
Dodgers officials had been bracing for the suspension to be reduced, according to Harris. The team has until Jan. 6 to either add Bauer to the active roster or release him. One report indicated L.A. plans to do the latter, but Harris was told the Dodgers are still weighing their options.
The Dodgers will be on the hook for most of Bauer’s $32 million salary for 2023 regardless of what they decide to do. The arbitrators ruled that Bauer must forfeit 50 games of salary in 2023 since he received pay while on administrative leave from June 2021-April 2022. (His suspension was announced on April 29, 2022.) This means the Dodgers will have to pay Bauer over $22 million for 2023 even if they cut him. That money would count toward the luxury tax.
Harris notes that having to pay most of Bauer’s salary for 2023 could complicate the Dodgers’ plans. They had positioned themselves to be below the luxury tax in order to pursue a marquee free agent like Shohei Ohtani next year. They may now have trouble getting below the threshold with Bauer’s money on the books.
The Dodgers could activate Bauer, which would require them to drop someone else from their 40-man roster. They could then attempt to trade the 31-year-old, though it seems unlikely that a team would take on his salary given the circumstances.
Bauer denied wrongdoing in the sexual misconduct allegations. He was not criminally charged despite an investigation, but MLB still suspended him 324 games under its domestic violence and sexual assault policy.