LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 12: Trevor Bauer #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks on after giving … [+]
According to a release from the organization, the Los Angeles Dodgers have decided to designate RHP Trevor Bauer for assignment.
Bauer, who turns 32 January 17, was reinstated from an initial Major League Baseball 324-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.
Bauer served 194 games of his suspension.
MLB arbitrator Martin Scheinman reduced Bauer’s original suspension, with the announcement of the reduction coming December 22, 2022.
Under the MLB Basic Agreement, every player on a 40-man roster has the right to appeal a league suspension to an independent, neutral, outside arbitrator. The arbitrator, in this case Martin Scheinman, has the authority to determine the outcome of a player’s appeal.
The Dodgers had until January 6, 2023, to determine if they wanted to retain Bauer on the 40-man roster, or release him.
The Dodgers announcement came at 7:20PM EST.
Bauer has lost $37M of his $102M contract with the Dodgers
The Dodgers faced a very tough, “no win” situation.
Part of their Dodgers fan base expressed a desire to see Bauer return. Another part of the fan base expressed a desire for the Dodgers to release Bauer. The polls monitored by this writer indicated a virtual split in public opinion.
Dodgers Digest stated a poll completed by the LA Times indicated that 51.2% among more than 19,000 respondents wanted the Dodgers to keep Bauer.
There are likely players on the Dodgers roster on both sides of the issue as well.
In addition to reducing Bauer’s suspension, it must be noted that arbitrator Scheinman also docked Bauer 50 games worth of his 2023 salary.
A designation for assignment means Bauer becomes a free agent if he is not claimed by another organization. After the dock of 50 games worth of 2023 pay, the Dodgers will still be responsible for the remainder of Bauer’s 2023 salary, which will roughly be $22.5M.
A new team will be able to sign Bauer and pay him the major league minimum of just over $700,000.
Fangraphs.com lists the Dodgers estimated current salary payroll at $217M.
It must be noted that paying Bauer his 2023 salary will place the Dodgers just a bit over the first threshold of the MLB Luxury Tax. The first threshold is $$233M.
There are analysts who believe the Dodgers have not made many expensive moves this offseason, and indeed have watched players leave via free agency, because they were planning on the potential of having to pay Bauer.
There are also those who believe the Dodgers may be planning a move to acquire Los Angeles Angels pitcher/designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, should he become a free agent following this season. Ohtani is in the last year of his Angels contract, where he will earn $30M next year.
Regardless of any future plans for their roster, the Dodgers organization has made it clear Trevor Bauer will no longer be part of their organization.