The Dodgers have one week left on their two-week rumination period before they have to decide what to do with pitcher Trevor Bauer, who was reinstated last week by an arbitrator who shortened his suspension from 324 games to 194. L.A.’s 40-man roster is full, so if they decide to keep Bauer, they’d have to make room for him by removing someone else.
According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, though, it’s not going to come to that. Heyman wrote on Thursday night that the decision is all but made.
The Dodgers are expected to release Trevor Bauer after his ban was reduced by 130 games and he became eligible for the 2023 season. Word is folks in their clubhouse would prefer he’d be elsewhere. More interesting is whether a small-market team that otherwise wouldn’t have a chance at this sort of talent might take a chance.
According to Bauer earlier this year, many of his Los Angeles teammates have reached out to him to privately express their support. On the other hand, former Dodgers beat writer Pedro Moura painted a different picture of Bauer in his book, How to Beat a Broken Game, and in an interview promoting the book, he said:
“A lot of players in the sport are uncomfortable with the idea of being teammates with a player who admitted to doing what Bauer has admitted to in his lawyers’ statements. By no means would I say it’s all of the, nor could I claim to have been in contact with all of them, but I question. In some room, that would certainly be unwelcome. Whether that’ll be the deciding factor, we don’t know. I mean, players don’t make the roster decisions, right? It’s the executives making these roster decisions. And Bauer has been, at times in the past, long before any of these allegations, he’s been known to be an unwelcome clubhouse presence.”
If the Dodgers do release Bauer, Heyman talks about the chance of small-market teams jumping at a guy they wouldn’t otherwise have a chance at. But unless the big-market teams all pass, those small-market teams likely still won’t have a chance, because Bauer will be a free agent. If L.A. dumps him, you have to imagine one of his main goals will be to beat them in the postseason, and that’s not going to happen with Pittsburgh or Oakland. So while it’s true a team like the Pirates could afford Bauer at the league minimum, it’s not clear they’d be able to convince him to play for them unless the playoff contenders all passed.
Anyway, there’s a week left on the clock, but if Heyman’s right, we might not have to wait that long.
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