Dodgers right-hander Trevor Bauer will not face criminal charges in a sexual assault case that was opened last year, according to reports Tuesday from TMZ and The Athletic.
Trevor Bauer will not face any criminal charges in the LA court system, sources tell The Athletic. Bauer's active investigation by MLB remains open.— Britt Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) February 8, 2022
While this news doesn’t necessarily mean that Bauer is in the clear to return to the majors in 2022 (assuming that there’s a season), it significantly strengthens his chances of pitching again. MLB said Tuesday that its investigation into Bauer’s transgressions is still ongoing, and the league cannot implement any discipline until the current lockout is resolved.
The league has been relatively harsh at times in the past when disciplining players who did not face criminal action, such as Addison Russell, who was suspended for 40 games in 2018-19 and José Reyes, who missed 51 games in 2016. (Both players were accused of domestic violence.) However, the league effectively issued a “time served” penalty to Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna, retroactively suspending him for 20 games that he missed while on administrative leave last year while he was the subject of a domestic violence investigation. That decision might provide some insight into what the league plans to do with Bauer, who didn’t pitch after June 28 last year while on administrative leave.
Even if he does return this year, Bauer may not be welcomed back in Los Angeles, as many of his teammates sought to distance themselves from him after the disturbing allegations were levied against him.
The 31-year-old Bauer, the 2020 NL Cy Young winner, had a 2.59 ERA with a 1.00 WHIP in 17 starts for the Dodgers last year and is owed $32 million in 2022, as well as another $32 million in 2023 if he opts into the final year of his deal with Los Angeles.