April 29, 2022 5:48pm
Updated: April 29, 2022 7:20pm
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer was suspended without pay Friday for two full seasons for allegedly violating Major League Baseball's domestic violence and sexual-assault policy.
The 324-game suspension follows the sexual-assault allegation by a San Diego woman whom Bauer met through social media, the Associated Press reported.
The woman alleges the pitcher beat and sexually abused her last year. She later requested a restraining order, but was denied. In February, Los Angeles prosecutors said evidence was insufficient to prove the woman's allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.
Bauer hasn't played since the allegations arose and MLB began its investigation, but has repeatedly said his interactions with the woman were consensual.
"In the strongest possible terms, I deny committing any violation of the league's domestic violence and sexual-assault policy," Bauer said in a statement Friday. "I am appealing this action and expect to prevail. As we have throughout this process, my representatives and I respect the confidentiality of the proceedings."
This is the longest suspension given under the policy, which was announced in August 2015 and allows league Commissioner Rob Manfred to suspend players with "just cause."
The previous longest suspension was a full season and postseason in 2021 for free agent pitcher Sam Dyson, according to the AP.
If the suspension is upheld, Bauer, who stopped receiving pay Friday, stands to lose $28 million this year and $32 million next year.
The pitcher had continued to receive his $32 million salary since he was first placed on administrative leave July 2, 2021, and during the subsequent extensions, the news service reported.
"The Dodgers organization takes all allegations of this nature very seriously and does not condone or excuse any acts of domestic violence or sexual assault," the team said in a statement. "We've cooperated fully with MLB's investigation since it began, and we fully support MLB's Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Child Abuse Policy, and the Commissioner's enforcement of the Policy.
"We understand that Trevor has the right to appeal the commissioner's decision. Therefore, we will not comment further until the process is complete."
Earlier this week, Bauer filed a lawsuit against his accuser and one of her lawyers in federal court, less than three months after prosecutors decided not to file criminal charges against him, according to the news wire.
According to his lawsuit, "the damage to Mr. Bauer has been extreme" after the woman claimed that during two sexual encounters last year, he had repeatedly punched her, choked her into unconsciousness, and had anal sex with her without her consent.
Bauer claims that he and the woman had engaged in rough sex at his home in Pasadena per her suggestion and followed agreed-upon guidelines. He also said that each encounter ended with them joking and her spending the night.