Everyone who is saying the Los Angeles Dodgers should release Trevor Bauer — or should have the moment the horrifying allegations against him came to light — aren’t wrong. But it’s just not that simple.
In a perfect world, the Dodgers could kick Bauer to the curb, recoup the ridiculous amount of cash they owe him, and move on without a hitch. But now that the 31-year-old won’t face criminal sexual assault charges, even though we’re closer to a resolution, the Dodgers are far from out of the woods.
Major League Baseball is still conducting its investigation, which could result in discipline for Bauer. Los Angeles has to wait for that conclusion in order to make its next move or else they’ll be in another unsavory situation with a potential contract grievance/dispute. Is that what everyone really wants? Bauer parading around on YouTube talking about how the Dodgers have prematurely made the wrong decision and that he’ll make them pay? No thanks.
Truth be told, the Dodgers have done everything possible to distance themselves from Bauer — everything short of releasing him or condemning him publicly. And at this point, it’s good enough.
The Dodgers releasing Trevor Bauer right now would cause even more problems.
The organization removed all of his gear from the team stores, canceled his promotional bobblehead night last season, and leaked to the media that his teammates didn’t want him back. What more could you ask for without having the Dodgers blow up the situation?
Additionally, Bauer could still face civil charges, should the California and Ohio women who have accused him of sexual assault choose to go that route after the LA district attorney’s office’s decision, which could also play a significant role.
Should the Dodgers act prematurely, without an official decision from MLB, they would almost undoubtedly make the situation worse for themselves, the news cycle, and the public having to ingest more and more unnecessary Bauer news that will only serve as a distraction to society.
Did we also forget we’re in the middle of a lockout? Teams cannot make major league transactions or merely mention players with no active collective bargaining agreement at the moment. Bauer can’t even cooperate with the league’s investigation because of the restrictions (unless he’s willing to do so, but we’re not sure why he would be when he doesn’t have to yet). There is literally nothing else the Dodgers can do at this juncture.
Insiders suspect Bauer will file a grievance with the league if he’s suspended, and he’ll almost assuredly do so if the Dodgers release him before a final decision on that front. It’s already messy and figures to be even messier pending MLB’s investigation. Why would the Dodgers pour gasoline on the fire?
He’s already more than likely never pitching for them again. The team’s actions, as well as other context clues, have proven that. An official statement or outright release only complicates the matter, making the Dodgers right to stand pat until MLB makes its next move.