Dodgers Dugout: DA won’t file charges against Trevor Bauer
Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and there still is no end in sight for the lockout.
The big Dodgers news: The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office announced Tuesday that it will not be filing charges against pitcher Trevor Bauer.
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Quoting our story by Bill Shaikin and Richard Winton, “The district attorney opted not to file assault charges from the first encounter in April and domestic violence charges from the second encounter in May, determining there was insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Bauer committed a crime.
“The district attorney’s office made the decision after reviewing electronic messages between Bauer and his accuser, the Pasadena police investigation and a transcript of the civil restraining order proceedings in August, according to two people with detailed knowledge of the review.
“The declination of charges by the district attorney’s office included the following: ‘After a thorough review of all the available evidence including the civil restraining order proceedings, witness statements and the physical evidence — the People are unable to prove the relevant charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Those charges were assault by means likely to cause great bodily harm, sodomy of a sleeping person and domestic violence.’
“Shortly after the decision was announced, Bauer released a seven-minute video he called “The Truth,” in which he underscored what his attorneys have long maintained, and what he said Tuesday’s decision established: He engaged in two nights of rough but consensual sex.”
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Again, I suggest you read the entire story.
So, what does this mean for the Dodgers? For now, nothing. They are waiting for MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred to decide whether Bauer will be suspended. MLB released a statement Tuesday that read: “MLB’s investigation is ongoing, and we will comment further at the appropriate time.” And yes, Bauer can be suspended even if he wasn’t charged with a crime. MLB’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy allows that. Previous suspensions have ranged from 15 games to a full season. With no charges being filed, MLB can now talk to Bauer without the chance that his responses could be used against him in a criminal case. They can present any evidence they have and he can respond.
Of course, with a lockout, it delays that process. More than likely, the lockout will have to end before any type of suspension can be announced, then Bauer can appeal the suspension.
The big question for the Dodgers is: Do they want to keep Bauer? He wouldn’t be paid while under suspension, but otherwise they owe him $64 million over the next two seasons. They could trade him, but Bauer has to approve a trade. They could release him, but they would still owe him $64 million (minus whatever he loses during a suspension). Another team could sign him for the league minimum. They could also try to void his contract saying he violated the morals clause. In his Q&A on the Bauer situation, Shaikin points out this: “In 2004, after pitcher Denny Neagle was cited on suspicion of soliciting a prostitute, the Colorado Rockies terminated his contract, citing that very same language from the standard player contract.
“Neagle filed a grievance. In 2005, he and the Rockies reached a settlement under which he was paid roughly $16 million of the $19.5 million left on his contract, according to the Denver Post. In 2006, Neagle pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of ‘patronizing a prostitute’ and was sentenced to 40 hours of community service.”
Word has it the Dodgers don’t want him back. But the Dodgers also only have two proven starting pitchers at the moment in Walker Buehler and Julio Urías.
The guess here is that Bauer never pitches for the Dodgers again. How they will get rid of him is a mystery that will be solved in the coming weeks.
Bill Plaschke offers his take on what the Dodgers should do with Bauer.
A list of players suspended under the MLB domestic violence policy:
Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees, March 1, 2016, 30 games
José Reyes, Colorado Rockies, May 13, 2016, 51 games
Héctor Olivera, Atlanta Braves, May 26, 2016, 82 games
Jeurys Familia, New York Mets, March 29, 2017, 15 games
Derek Norris, free agent, Sept. 1, 2017, Remainder of the season
Steven Wright, Boston Red Sox, March 23, 2018, 15 games
José Torres, San Diego Padres, June 8, 2018, 100 games
Roberto Osuna, Toronto Blue Jays, June 22, 2018, 75 games
Addison Russell, Chicago Cubs, Sept. 21, 2018, 40 games
Odúbel Herrera, Philadelphia Phillies, July 5, 2019, Remainder of the season (85 games)
Julio Urías, Dodgers, Aug. 17, 2019, 20 games
Domingo Germán, New York Yankees, Jan. 2, 2020, 81 games
Sam Dyson, free agent, March 5, 2021, 162 games
Urias was arrested on May 13, 2019, for investigation of possible misdemeanor domestic battery after an altercation in the parking lot of the Beverly Center shopping center. Prosecutors did not file charges, with Urias complying with terms that included counseling and no further incidents.
The lockout continues
The players are still locked out, unable to work out at their home stadiums or with team personnel. The two sides don’t appear to be close to reaching an agreement. As an example, two weeks ago the league said it was open to a pre-arbitration bonus pool proposed by the union, except instead of the $105 million the players sought, the league offered $10 million. In a counter a week later, the union amended its offer to $100 million. If the two sides keep waiting a week between offers and only move $5 million a time, well, we could be here a while. And this is just one issue being contested.
Here’s what Justin Turner had to say about the situation: “It’s not a position we want to be in. We think we have the best fans in the country, and we want to be on the field and performing for them and letting them come out and enjoy America’s pastime. But at the same time, we just want a fair shot at it.”
Cody Bellinger: “There’s things in the system that need to be fixed, and that’s what we’re working towards. Hopefully both sides can work together and see the big picture here and what’s important, and that’s getting the game going. But things have to get dialed in first.”
An interesting article here argues that the “Billionaires vs. millionaires” view of the lockout is incorrect.
I think this is officially the most depressing Dodgers Dugout ever.
New general manager
The Dodgers named Brandon Gomes their new general manager, filling a role that had been vacant since Farhan Zaidi left for the San Francisco Giants after the 2018 season. Andrew Friedman will still be the man in charge and make the final decisions, but Gomes will be an important voice in the discussion.
“I think we have a very collaborative front office set-up to begin with,” Friedman said. “I think with this, it will further enable him to touch all aspects of baseball operations. He and I will partner to figure out the ebbs and flows of the calendar. Maybe some years where I focus more on some areas and him on others. … Just communicating our way through it.”
Stories you might have missed
Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger hopeful ‘amazing’ offseason leads to a bounce back in 2022
Dodgers GM Brandon Gomes found his calling during his many stints in the minors
Four things to know about Dodgers front office changes
Hall of Fame snubs Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens in final try, elects David Ortiz
Dave Roberts hosts students from Muir High at Dodger Stadium event for Jackie Robinson. Watch and listen here.
Until next time...
Have a comment or something you’d like to see in a future Dodgers newsletter? Email me at email@example.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.
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