There are many offseason storylines for Los Angeles Dodgers fans to be zoned in on, and unfortunately some may have forgotten Trevor Bauer’s appeal hearing is likely one of them. Believe it or not, this could have notable implications for the 2023 season.
Bauer hasn’t pitched in MLB since June of 2021. Towards the end of April of this year, commissioner Rob Manfred handed down a 324-game suspension to the 31-year-old, which was the longest non-lifetime ban in the history of the sport.
At this very moment, Bauer has filed five defamation lawsuits and one of them could be thrown out due to a “misrepresenting the findings of the judge who denied a restraining order to the woman who accused him of sexual assault.”
As for Bauer’s legal battle against MLB, his hearing began back on May 23 but won’t reach its conclusion until after the World Series because of the “voluminous evidence” being sorted through by Bauer’s attorney.
Additionally, Bauer’s defamation suit against his accuser is taking place at the moment, and that will likely play a role in his appeal to MLB’s suspension.
When will the Dodgers get an answer on suspended pitcher Trevor Bauer?
Bauer’s reinstatement has nothing to do with him taking up a spot in the Dodgers’ rotation. We’d bet almost anything he won’t be returning to the field for LA.
In one of the worst contracts ever given out, Bauer’s three-year, $103 million deal has a player option for the 2023 season. It’s worth $35.3 million and has a $15 million buyout. Just like last year, Bauer is expected to opt in to the remainder of the contract as the legal saga continues.
Should the panel rule in Bauer’s favor, it could create a troubling financial situation for the Dodgers. LA wasn’t on the hook for his $35.3 million in 2022 because of the suspension, but there could be a retroactive situation if MLB’s ruling is overturned. At the very least, if Bauer is reinstated for 2023, the Dodgers will be on the hook for that money and it will count against the payroll tax whether he’s on the team or not.
It’s likely the Dodgers will operate as is and conduct business under the assumption they will not be paying Bauer. They’re not going to put up a hypothetical obstacle to prevent them from getting over the postseason hump after 111 wins and a disappointing October exit.
The case concluding “after the World Series” could once again put the organization and fans in another holding period. It could be a few days. It could be a few months. It’s probably just smart to mark Bauer as a sunk cost regardless of the outcome.