Last week, Trevor Bauer "won" his appeal and saw his suspension cut from 324 games (an MLB record for a non-lifetime ban) to 194 games. He's now technically allowed to pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
But from the moment Bauer was banished as a result of the sexual assault allegations levied upon him, the Dodgers distanced themselves without hesitation.
Well ... not right away. If you remember, the plan was to have him pitch July 4 against the Washington Nationals.
Once MLB placed Bauer on administrative leave, that's when the Dodgers began their campaign to make their high-profile free agent signing disappear. They removed his gear from the team stores. His promotional bobblehead night was canceled six weeks before it was set to happen. Leaks came from the clubhouse that Bauer's teammates didn't want him back (and viewed him as a distraction, even before his arrival).
The team brushed off every question asked about Bauer from that day forward. They planned this offseason around whether or not they would have to pay him in the event his suspension was reduced or lifted.
So ... then what's the wait on releasing him? Shouldn't it have happened the moment the ruling was made? Shouldn't the Dodgers have explored every possible legal avenue to ensure they were protected against a Bauer countersuit? They've had 18 months to figure it out!
What's the Dodgers' wait on releasing Trevor Bauer?
From an optics perspective -- fans obviously know there's more to this than what's on the surface -- it still looks bad, considering there was no hesitation by the Dodgers to cut bait on team legends Joc Pederson, Kiké Hernandez, Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger the last few offseasons.
The arbitrator ruled on Bauer's case last Thursday, Dec. 22. The Dodgers have until Jan. 6 to reinstate Bauer to the 40-man roster or cut him loose. Do they really need any more than a couple of days to figure this out?
And even if the Dodgers were still exposed to a potential legal response from Bauer, what does it matter? It really seems as if they aren't, because the arbitrator saw enough evidence to uphold more than a full season of a suspension. The Dodgers and MLB have all the info/evidence they need to feel comfortable fully cutting ties with the 31-year-old.
The fact anybody's even asking the question about whether he should stay is preposterous. It shouldn't even be a hypothetical. The front office shouldn't be seeking more information on the matter. If there was enough proof to keep him off the field for 194 games, then there was enough to keep him away from the team for good.
NEXT STORY: Trevor Bauer gets MLB record suspension reduced