Los Angeles Dodgers have decision to make on Trevor Bauer

May 21, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Trevor Bauer (27) gestures after being removed from the game during the seventh inning against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
May 21, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Trevor Bauer (27) gestures after being removed from the game during the seventh inning against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Los Angeles Dodgers have likely been hoping that this day would never come. Trevor Bauer has been in administrative leave limbo since he was placed under investigation for domestic violence and sexual assault. He had not made an appearance since June 28, and it was questionable as to when he would be allowed back.

That day is getting closer. According to TMZ, Bauer will not be facing any criminal charges in the case, with the text messages exchanged between the Dodgers’ pitcher and the victim at the heart of that decision.

Los Angeles Dodgers decision day on Trevor Bauer getting closer

Even though Bauer has been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing, he can still be punished. Major League Baseball can suspend him in violation of their domestic abuse policy if they are so inclined. However, the league faced a similar issue with Marcell Ozuna – he received a 20 game retroactive suspension and will be eligible to play if/when the season begins.

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Bauer’s case is much different. He has also been a thorn in the league’s side for years, calling out how pitchers used various substances and daring Major League Baseball to do something about it. The league would likely love nothing more than to throw the book at him.

But Bauer will fight any punishment given. At the same time, the last thing the league wants right now is any more drama considering the ongoing lockout. This leads at least one legal analyst to believe that Bauer will be eligible to pitch when the season begins.

That leaves the Dodgers in a difficult spot. They cannot suspend him themselves since those punishments are left to the league. At the same time, it is hard to imagine that he would be welcome back in that locker room with open arms. No matter how much they may need him from a talent perspective, the chemistry on the team has to be considered.

There is always the chance that they can kick that can down the road. The league may decide to suspend Bauer anyway, leading to a protracted legal battle. He may still get paid, but the Dodgers would not have to make a decision on his future. That may be the best they can hope for at this point.

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Trevor Bauer will not be facing criminal charges. The Los Angeles Dodgers are going to have to make a decision on his future soon.