Dodgers right-hander Trevor Bauer will not exercise the opt-out in his three-year contract this offseason, per a report from MLB Network’s Jon Heyman on Wednesday:
Trevor Bauer will not opt out of his historic contract. That should not surprise anyone under the circumstances. Has $64M to go over 2 years. A decision to opt out also will have resulted in lengthy deferrals.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 3, 2021
The news isn’t at all surprising since Bauer’s future in the major leagues — and as a free man, for that matter — is in doubt as authorities ponder whether to charge him with sexual assault following an incident earlier this year. Bauer’s accuser had her request for a restraining order against Bauer denied in August, but criminal charges could still be brought against him. Even if they aren’t, MLB may choose to discipline him for his behavior.
Bauer, 30, signed a three-year deal with the Dodgers last offseason that contained opt-outs after both the 2021 and ‘22 seasons. He made 17 starts in 2021 before being placed on administrative leave on July 2 due to the sexual assault allegations. Because he was on administrative leave rather than being suspended, he earned $38 million this year and is in position to earn $64 million more over the next two years if he doesn’t receive any formal discipline.
With Bauer’s status in doubt, Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw set to hit free agency, and Dustin May unlikely to be ready for Opening Day as he recovers from Tommy John surgery, the Dodgers will be faced with rebuilding their rotation this offseason. Even if Bauer doesn’t face legal ramifications or league discipline, it’s possible that he’s thrown his last pitch as a Dodger, as many fans and members of the organization have been turned off by the way he has responded to the allegations.