What's done is done: Trevor Bauer is no longer a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers after he was released on Thursday. No other MLB team claimed him, so he's now a free agent and can sign anywhere for the league minimum.
But who will take the chance? At this point, most Dodgers fans don't care because the last year and a half has been beyond exhausting. But some are still a bit worried Bauer lands with another NL contender (or someone like the Astros) while LA foots the $22.5 million bill for the 2023 season.
For those concerned, perhaps a funny comment from an MLB executive will help alleviate your anxieties. While Bauer's reduced suspension made it seem like other teams would be less discouraged about bringing him aboard, whoever MLB insider Jon Heyman talked to recently didn't feel that way at all.
"One baseball decision maker opined that it would have to be a “team on another planet.” But with pitching at a premium, that may not be true. The Dodgers had a week to trade him and were unsuccessful, so he officially became a free agent on Thursday. It is not surprising the Dodgers could not trade him, since any team interested in adding him would want to interview him, and there would need to be time for that. "- Jon Heyman of the New York Post
Not even the Mexican, Japanese, Korean or Dominican Leagues? Venezuelan? Another planet?! How far along are the plans for Mars colonization, Mr. Musk? Is that Bauer's next best hope? It'll only take an 8-10-year shuttle to have him relive his glory, but his fastball may no longer be effective on that distant soil. Or do we have enemies in another galaxy ready to make the move?
Where will Trevor Bauer land after Dodgers release?
Some might view Bauer's suspension reduction as significant, but it was still the largest in MLB history under the league's domestic violence policy. The independent arbitrator still saw good reason to uphold 194 games of Bauer's 324-game ban while also docking his pay for the first 50 games of the 2023 season. Does that scream "innocent" to you?
This went through the courts with no interference from commissioner Rob Manfred, who many believed acted outside of his power with the evidence he was presented solely because the LA district attorney's office opted not to pursue charges against Bauer. For all those questioning the process, perhaps this makes it clear that the situation wasn't so black and white.
Manfred's historic two-year suspension for Bauer was clearly a tactic to set a new precedent as well as an example after the league had been bizarrely lax on a few other domestic violence situations that many would argue warranted harsher punishment.
Whether it's 324 or 194, it was decided both within the league and outside of it that Bauer deserved a suspension that might alienate him from baseball on planet Earth forever.