After a long wait, the news dropped on Thursday that suspended pitcher Trevor Bauer would be suspended no more. An independent arbitrator reduced the 324 game suspension MLB handed down in April to 194 games. Bauer served 144 games of that 194 during the 2022 season. The difference is being made up on time served while he was on administrative leave.
More info can be found about the suspension and appeal process at The Athletic (subscription required).
With the news, the Dodgers were dealt a blow the front office had been worried about all offseason long. A prime reason the club has been mostly timid this winter. Bauer would be eligible to rejoin the roster and pitch in 2023. And, according to some reports, that might not be something they want.
USA Today scribe Bob Nightengale twice tweeted on Thursday that the Dodgers are expected to release Bauer before a January 6th reinstatement deadline.
If the team does opt to release Bauer, they’ll be on the hook for about $23 million in salary in 2023. That number would count toward the luxury tax threshold (set at $233 for next year) and would put the team just under that number heading into the new season.
Of course, that’s before the team deals with any of its 10 arbitration eligible players.
The Dodgers might likely just avoid the season-long headache that could come with having the estranged pitcher back on the roster. As of the time of this writing, the team has issued a statement (more of a non-statement) via Twitter saying it “will comment as soon as practical.
Again, the team has two weeks to come to a decision.