Warning: The following article contains graphic allegations of sexual assault and domestic violence.
With a set of serious assault allegations looming, MLB placed Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer on administrative leave on Friday, the league announced with a statement:
MLB’s investigation into the allegations made against Trevor Bauer is ongoing. While no determination in the case has been made, we have made the decision to place Mr. Bauer on seven-day administrative leave effective immediately. MLB continues to collect information in our ongoing investigation concurrent with the Pasadena Police Department’s active criminal investigation. We will comment further at the appropriate time.
The decision will sideline Bauer for up to seven days, and possibly longer if the league deems it necessary for Bauer's case. Bauer, who signed a three-year, $102 million deal with the Dodgers over the winter, will continue to be paid while on leave.
The Los Angeles Dodgers had previously planned to still start Bauer on Sunday against the Washington Nationals, but said they were following MLB's lead.
Bauer's representatives responded with a statement to Yahoo Sports on Friday, saying he will not appeal the decision to place him on leave "at this time," while reiterating a statement claiming his innocence:
We reaffirm our original statement and refute [the woman’s] allegations in the strongest possible terms.
Mr. Bauer will not appeal MLB’s decision to place him on administrative leave at this time in an effort to minimize any distraction to the Dodgers organization and to his teammates.
Of note, administrative leave is neither a disciplinary action nor does it in any way reflect a finding in the league’s investigation.
Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten also addressed the matter with reporters before Friday's game, saying he trusts the commissioner's office to handle the investigation. Kasten also alluded to additional information in the case he does not have access to, according to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.
Where the Trevor Bauer case currently stands
A woman was granted a temporary ex parte restraining order against Bauer on Tuesday, alleging the pitcher had assaulted her during two sexual encounters earlier this year. Bauer will receive a chance to contest the allegations at a hearing, scheduled for July 23.
The matter is still under investigation by the Pasadena Police Department, though the woman reportedly said she was concerned about the pace of the investigation in her filing for the restraining order. Marc Garelick, a lawyer representing the woman, said in a statement to Yahoo Sports on Tuesday that they anticipate criminal action being taken against Bauer.
Graphic details of the woman's allegations against Bauer emerged a day after she was granted the restraining order. In their first encounter, she claimed Bauer had choked her to unconsciousness with her own hair and woke up with him having anal sex with her, something she said she never consented to. In the second encounter, she says he choked her to unconsciousness again, twice, and that she woke up with him punching her in the head several times.
The alleged victim reportedly provided photos of her face visibly swollen with two black eyes, a bloodied lip and scratches to the side of her face.
Bauer's representatives have contested the woman's account of the two encounters, claiming both were "wholly consensual." On Wednesday, they released screengrabs of text messages to Yahoo Sports they say were purposefully omitted from the woman's filing. The text exchange appears to show the woman consenting to being choked and slapped in the face, but punching and anal sex is not mentioned.
Police: 'This investigation is bigger than we thought'
Hours before Bauer was placed on leave, a Pasadena police officer told USA Today that the investigation into Bauer — which has been active since May — had uncovered new leads that also need to be investigated:
“We were looking into some things and we thought we were nearing the end,’’ Lt. Carolyn Gordon, who is overseeing the investigation, told USA TODAY Sports Friday. "We are not close to the end.
"This investigation is bigger than we thought. So we have to look a few more places. We want to try to uncover as much stuff as we can.''
Gordon said the police department has received new leads in the investigation that began about six weeks ago.
“I’m not going to reveal any of the information we’ve received," she said. “We have some things to look into. Some things have been uncovered and we want to continue our investigation."
What does MLB do now?
While MLB's decision to place Bauer on leave sidelines him for the near future, it is not the final decision for the league to make.
In past in-season cases, Roberto Osuna, Addison Russell and Domingo German were placed on paid leave and had their stint extended before the league issued suspensions under its domestic violence policy: 75 games for Osuna; 40 games for Russell; and 81 games for German, counting their administrative leave as time served.
There have also been cases like that of Bauer's teammate Julio Urias, who was reinstated from administrative leave after seven days with no suspension despite still facing domestic battery charges.
If MLB decides to suspend Bauer, he would also lose his salary — an MLB-high $40 million in 2021 — for games missed over the course of the suspension.
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