Plenty of uncertainty still surrounds Dodger right-hander Trevor Bauer. The hurler was on administrative leave from July 2nd through the end of the season and no one — not even the experts — has any new concrete facts on the allegations of sexual assault against Bauer.
This much we know: Major League Baseball hasn’t suspended Bauer since there has yet to be criminal charges levied against him by the Los Angeles County district attorney.
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Clearly, the Dodgers are waiting for the DA and MLB to come to a conclusion before they make their own decision.
Ken Rosenthal, formerly of the MLB Network, gave his thoughts on the Bauer situation on an episode of The Athletic Baseball Show. Specifically, Rosenthal gave his best guess on whether or not the former Cy Young award winner will pitch for the Dodgers again.
“I do not expect him to play for the Dodgers again and I do expect it to become an issue at some point.”
If the 30-year-old is charged by the DA, then MLB has a clear path to a suspension. However, if he’s not charged, MLB may still opt to try and issue a suspension of some kind, something Bauer and his team will fight tooth and nail. Moreover, if the league does choose to suspend the pitcher but not for a full season, the next move regarding his future would come from the Dodgers. Something that certainly would affect LA’s payroll in 2022. And, understandably, be a divisive move amongst the fan base.
Impact on the Dodgers Salary Cap
Additionally, Rosenthal offered insight on the financial implications for the Dodgers and Bauer. First, the insider did confirm that Bauer’s $35.5M salary is still counted towards the Dodgers luxury tax bill if LA decides to release him in 2022. The reporter also obliged that the luxury tax system could be different in the new CBA.
“Now what we don’t know obviously is if the luxury tax system will remain in place. I do expect it to remain in place.”
Rosenthal then reiterated the vast amount of variables affecting the futures of both Bauer and the Dodgers.
“ This [luxury tax implication] is one of the many outstanding questions with the Bauer situation. What will the Dodgers do? How will that affect their luxury tax payroll? Will Bauer file a grievance if indeed he is released. All of these things are in play. He will possibly file a grievance if he’s suspended as well.”
At this point, it’s honestly hard to say whether or not Bauer is done with the Dodgers. The front office hasn’t acted like he’s out of the mix, particularly in allowing Max Scherzer to leave for the Mets. Most baseball insiders say he’ll never throw another pitch for LA and possibly in Major League Baseball. But don’t be shocked if either of those outcomes does not come to fruition.