After nearly two years away from the sport after a lengthy suspension and release from the Los Angeles Dodgers, former Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer has signed a one-year contract with the Yokohama DeNA BayStars of Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan.
Bauer, then 32 years old, hasn’t pitched since June 2021, when he was accused of s*xually abusing a woman in the San Diego region. After being placed on administrative leave by Major League Baseball, he was ultimately suspended for 324 games for the rest of the season.
After an arbitrator lowered Bauer’s ban to 194 games and reinstated him in December 2022, the Dodgers terminated the pitcher the following January and ate the remaining $22.5 million of his three-year, $102 million deal.
In addition to his compensation from the BayStars, Bauer will continue to receive his full salary from the Dodgers.
When it came to signing Bauer for the major league minimum, every MLB team had the option. He’ll be playing for the BayStars, a team in the middle of the pack that hasn’t been to the playoffs since 1998.
Bauer disputed the woman’s claims that he s*xually assaulted her by hitting and choking her during s*xual activity.
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An American judge ruled rejected the lady’s request for an indefinite restraining order against Bauer, stating that the woman “imposed restrictions without fully contemplating all the repercussions.” Bauer was suspended for the longest period of time in MLB history after at least two other women accused him of s*xual abuse and all three spoke to MLB as part of its investigation.
Bauer has already discussed his desire to travel to Japan for the possibility of playing professional baseball there. In 2020, when he became a free agent, he tweeted: “I’ll evaluate offers from any MLB or NPB team.” His Twitter bio features his name written in Japanese characters.
Several other Japanese clubs reportedly contemplated bringing Bauer on board for the following season. Ex-MLB All-Star closer Roberto Osuna, who was suspended for 75 games for violating the league’s domestic violence policy and then fired by the Houston Astros, played for and re-signed with the Chiba Lotte Marines last season.
Prior to the allegations, Bauer, the third overall choice in the 2011 draft, was widely considered to be one of baseball’s top pitchers. While with the Dodgers, he allowed opponents to hit.182/.258/.374 in 107.2 innings while striking out 137 and walking 37. Bauer is 83-69 with a 3.79 ERA and 1,416 strikeouts to 491 walks in 1,297.23 innings over his 10-year major league career.
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