The decision by the Los Angeles Dodgers to release embattled pitcher Trevor Bauer in January was “unanimous” among the people charged with making a decision, Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten said Wednesday.
Los Angeles announced that Bauer had been designated for assignment on Jan. 6, two weeks after an independent arbitrator reduced Bauer’s 324-game suspension to 194 games.
Bauer missed the entire 2022 MLB season after being suspended amid sexual assault allegations. He made 17 starts in 2021 before being placed on paid administrative leave.
Bauer was accused in 2021 of sexual assault by a San Diego woman he met via social media, an accusation Bauer denied, saying the encounters were consensual.
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The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office announced in February 2022 that Bauer would not be criminally charged.
On Wednesday, Kasten and Dodgers team president Andrew Friedman addressed the decision to release Bauer during a meeting with local reporters.
“I stand by our decision,” Kasten said, according to The Los Angeles Times. “I’m very comfortable with it.”
Kasten said the two weeks between the decision and the reduction of the suspension was partly due to the holiday season.
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“We took the time to get as much input as we could to be sure we were making the right decision,” Kasten said. “That’s what we did. We feel we did make the right decision.”
When the Dodgers announced that Bauer had been designated for assignment, the former Cy Young winner released a statement through his representatives saying he had met with Dodgers leadership.
“Following two weeks of conversations around my return to the organization, I sat down with Dodgers leadership in Arizona yesterday who told me that they wanted me to return and pitch for the team this year.
“While I am disappointed by the organization’s decision today, I appreciate the wealth of support I’ve received from the Dodgers clubhouse. I wish the players all the best and look forward to competing elsewhere.”
Kasten declined to address Bauer’s claim that the Dodgers told him they wanted him to return in their Jan. 5 meeting.
While Kasten also declined to say which members of the organization were part of the decision-making process in releasing Baeur, Kasten did say it was “unanimous.”
“It was an organizational decision,” Kasten said.
“I will say I’m responsible for everything that happens here,” Kasten added. “But everyone who needed to be involved was involved, was included in the discussion all along the way. It was unanimous at the end for sure. And as I said, and will keep saying, we feel strongly we made the right decision.”
The team owes Bauer his $22.5 million salary for the 2023 season. Bauer can sign with another team for the Major League Baseball minimum, which would save the Dodgers $720,000.
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