The 2021 season is over for Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer. Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have agreed to extend his leave of absence for the remainder of the 2021 season, including the playoffs, his agents confirmed Friday. Bauer is still being investigated by MLB and the Pasadena (California) Police Department over sexual assault allegations.
Bauer, 30, last pitched on June 28. In the ensuing days, news came to light that he has been accused of sexual assault. The league then put Bauer on administrative leave. Once that initial leave period expires, the league has the right to extend it by a week, so long as the MLBPA approves. Bauer's leave had been extended every week since his initial suspension. After this many weeks, it apparently seemed evident to both sides that the investigation wasn't going to conclude in time for any realistic return to the field for Bauer in 2021. As such, his season is over.
Bauer's agents, Jon Fetterolf and Rachel Luba, released the following statement Friday:
"Today Mr. Bauer agreed to extend his administrative leave through the playoffs in a measure of good faith and in an effort to minimize any distraction to the Dodgers organization and his teammates. He continues to cooperate with the MLB investigation and refute the baseless allegations against him. Again, by definition administrative leave is neither a disciplinary action nor does it in any way reflect a finding in the league's investigation."
The Dodgers signed Bauer to a three-year, $102 million deal this past offseason. On the field, he was 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 137 strikeouts in 107 2/3 innings.
In late June, Britt Ghiroli and Katie Strang of The Athletic reported details of a woman's encounters with Bauer, which she says were initially consensual. "I agreed to have consensual sex; however, I did not agree or consent to what he did next. I did not agree to be sexually assaulted," the woman said. The Athletic's report, which includes graphic details from a restraining order request, including allegations that Bauer strangled and punched the woman, can be found here.
In August, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge denied a request to extend a temporary restraining order against Bauer. However, Bauer remains under investigation by police for possible criminal charges, and he remains subject to a probe by MLB that could lead to his being disciplined by the league. Per the relevant joint agreement, MLB can discipline Bauer regardless of legal system outcomes.
There was also a report that a different woman filed a protection order against Bauer in Ohio last year. Bauer responded by saying the woman was trying to extort money from him and accused the Washington Post of taking part in a "false narrative."
MLB's domestic violence policy was implemented in 2016 and 13 players have since been disciplined, with suspensions ranging from 14 games to 162 games. Under this policy, the Dodgers cannot release Bauer -- if they so choose -- until the investigation is complete and he serves any discipline dished out by the league. If the team does release him, it would owe him the remaining balance of the deal.