Dodgers right-hander Trevor Bauer will remain in his contract for the 2022 season, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports (Twitter link). Bauer had the option of exercising an opt-out clause in order to test free agency again this winter, but he will instead remain on the Dodgers’ books for a $32MM salary next season. Bauer can also opt out following next season, and if so, would take a $15MM buyout rather than a $32MM salary for 2023.
Bauer hasn’t pitched since June 28, and it remains to be seen if he will ever play Major League Baseball again in the wake of assault allegations and a temporary ex parte restraining order filed against Bauer by a woman in California in July. This led to the revelation of another protection order that a court granted a woman in Ohio against Bauer in 2020, from an alleged incident that took place in 2017. In regards to the California incident, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office is still reviewing the police evidence against Bauer to determine whether or not criminal charges will be filed.
MLB placed Bauer on paid administrative leave in early July, and the league and the MLB Players Association subsequently agreed to several extensions on that leave through the end of the World Series. As a result, Bauer has already been paid the $38MM owed to him ($28MM salary, $10MM signing bonus) through the first year of his three-year, $102MM free agent deal signed with the Dodgers last February. $20MM of that 2021 salary would’ve been paid out in deferrals had Bauer elected to opt out.
Needless to say, there was no chance Bauer was going to walk away from that $64MM, though he might yet lose at least part of that salary via suspension. As per the MLB/MLBPA Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse policy, the league has the ability to suspend Bauer regardless of any criminal charges that may or may not be brought against him. “The expectation around the sport is that the league would pursue a suspension of at least one year,” ESPN’s Jeff Passan wrote in August, and it seems very possible that Bauer would appeal any suspension issued, unlike other players suspended under the joint policy.