In the wake of his suspension from MLB stemming from violations of the league's domestic violence policy, Trevor Bauer found himself released from the Los Angeles Dodgers and without a major league contract offer (at least based on what's been reported). As a result, he decided to sign a contract over in Japan with the Yokohama BayStars.
After pitching well initially as he was gearing up in the Japanese version of the minor leagues, things have taken a turn for the worse for Bauer with Yokohama. In his latest start for the BayStars, Bauer only lasted two innings and gave up seven runs on eight hits with one walk and one strikeout.
As Yakyu noted, this was his second start in giving up seven runs. Bad. There could be a lot of factors in play with his struggles, including the lengthy layoff from playing in games, but Yakyu did point out some interesting data regarding Bauer's pitches during his time in Japan.
To say that he's struggling early on in his transition to pitching professionally over in Japan would be an understatement. He had his fun swording the Japanese minor leaguers, and now he's getting gutted by the big dogs. Across three starts, the right-hander has surrendered 14 earned runs (8.40 ERA) on 26 hits in just 15 innings of work.
Where does Trevor Bauer go from here?
We are certainly in some uncharted territory with Bauer. Generally speaking, players who have gone to play over in Japan typically have been able to make their way back to MLB and find consistent success. Carter Stewart, who was a top-10 pick in the 2018 draft by the Braves, famously could not come to an agreement on a contract and has spent the last few years pitching over in Japan in the hopes of being able to eventually land with an MLB team, but the jury is still out if that attempt will pay off.
Bauer's case is more unique than Stewart's or of a guy who began his professional career over in Japan. Bauer has had real success in Major League Baseball to be sure, but the lack of interest in signing him to a big league deal after he was released by the Dodgers does bring questions of whether or not there's a team that Bauer wants to play for that's willing to give him a contract that would interest him.
The Dodgers owe Bauer a little over $22.5 million this season after releasing him back in January and the sunk cost certainly isn't forcing them to lose any sleep at night.