The biggest thing hanging over the heads of the Dodgers right now is the Trevor Bauer situation. Since he was officially reinstated last week, the club has stayed quiet while mulling over the pitcher’s future with the organization. As it stands, the team has until January 6 to decide whether or not they want to add him back to the active roster or release him from the final year of his contract. Unless they find a trading partner — and that feels unlikely — they’ll have to pay him no matter what, and he’ll be a hit of around $22 million on their books. So what are they going to do?
Dodgers Nation had an exclusive interview with Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, and spoke about the Bauer situation and what the Dodgers may end up doing. Shaikin made it clear that the possibility of Bauer pitching in Los Angeles next season is still very much alive.
“If they knew what they were going to do if Bauer was reinstated, they could have done it right away,” Shaikin said. “They didn’t need to wait 14 days. But I think because they were uncertain about what the decision might be, they don’t have an answer. And, as they do with everything in their operation, they want to review all their options, take their time and consider everything they might possibly do. And I would imagine that’s what they’re doing at this point.”
Then, our own Doug McKain asked Shaikin if he thought there was a chance Bauer remained on the active roster:
“Do I think there’s a chance? Yes, because they haven’t released him at this point, right? So he’s still part of the Dodgers organization. They have a deadline which is January 6 to restore him to their 40-man roster and until they come out publicly and say, ‘we don’t want Mr. Bauer as part of our organization anymore’, he’s still part of their organization.”
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The more the Dodgers wait to announce their decision, the more you have to wonder if Bauer could, in fact, remain with the team next season. It seemed as if the front office knew this was coming, especially considering Ken Rosenthal’s report about the team staying away from the top free agents out of the fear that they would have to pay a reinstated Bauer — and that’s exactly what happened. The Dodgers, with Bauer’s salary, still remain right under the luxury tax, so it seems like they knew exactly how much they’d be able to spend this offseason to remain under the tax with Bauer’s potential reinstatement. That’s why Shaikin thinks the Dodgers are still mulling over a decision regarding what they want to do with Bauer next season.
“I think the Dodgers are taking all the time that they have to evaluate everything that they consider. And sometimes those things are easy to do, but again, if the Dodgers thought this was an easy decision, they could have told you — Friday was the day that he was reinstated by the arbitrator — they could have told you Friday, that was a week ago, Friday. So they’re not, they’re taking their time, they’re evaluating and you know, if I knew what they were gonna do, I’d have it up on our website right now, but I don’t.”
It’ll be interesting to see what the Dodgers decide to do, and what factors into the decision. For what it’s worth, we ran a poll on Twitter asking fans what they wanted the team to do with Bauer. Nearly 15,000 fans voted, and 66.8% of them said they wanted Bauer to pitch for L.A. in 2023.
What is your stance on Trevor Bauer pitching for the Dodgers?
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) December 23, 2022
The Dodgers have about a week to decide, so we’ll see if they end up taking all that time to make the decision. Based on Shaikin’s comments, it sounds like it’s not an easy one to make.