LOS ANGELES (AP) — Trevor Bauer is fighting to protect his pitching career, reputation and earning power in the face of his unprecedented two-season suspension without pay by Major League Baseball for violating MLB’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy.
Now, it’s an arbitrator’s turn to decide whether he ever plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers — or any other MLB team — again.
His punishment was meted out Friday for sexual abuse allegations he denies.
If the arbitrator sides with MLB, the 31-year-old pitcher’s full suspension of 324 games without pay would be upheld and Bauer would lose just over $60 million from a $102 million, three-year contract he signed last year. By that time, his contract with the team will have expired.
If Bauer wins, he faces the prospect of rebuilding his reputation, as well as potential public backlash and mending fences with MLB and his team.
Bauer became the Dodgers’ highest-paid player after they outdueled the New York Mets to bring the right-hander home in 2021. He was born in North Hollywood, attended high school in Santa Clarita and played at UCLA.
Public reaction at the time was mixed, not because of Bauer’s performance on the field, but his behavior off it. He had been involved in multiple controversies on social media, where he has a huge following, and some of the higher-profile incidents involved women.
Back then, Bauer told reporters, “I’m doing my best to be better.” And Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations, said the team’s due diligence focused on talking to Bauer, his former teammates and previous organizations.
“We came away from it feeling good about it,” Friedman said at the time. “Now, obviously time will tell, but I feel like he’s going to be a tremendous add, not just on the field, but in the…