LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Dodger pitcher Trevor Bauer, who was previously suspended for two full seasons over violations of Major League Baseball's sex assault and domestic violence policies, was reinstated Thursday by an arbitrator who reduced his suspension to 194 games.
It was unclear, however, whether the Dodgers plan to retain the 2020 National League Cy Young Award winner.
"We have just been informed of the arbitrator's ruling and will comment as soon as practical," the team said in a statement released on Twitter at 5:03 p.m.
In a statement, Major League Baseball noted that the arbitrator "affirmed" that Bauer violated the league policies on domestic violence and sexual assault.
"After an exhaustive review of the available evidence the neutral arbitrator upheld an unpaid suspension of 194 games," according to MLB. "As part of the decision, the arbitrator reinstated Mr. Bauer effectively immediately, with a loss of pay covering the 144 games he was suspended during the 2022 season. In addition, the arbitrator docked Bauer's salary for the first 50 games of the 2023 season (i.e., the period covering March 30, 2023 to May 23, 2023).
"While we believe a longer suspension was warranted, MLB will abide by the neutral arbitrator's decision, which upholds baseball's longest-ever active player suspension for sexual assault or domestic violence.
"We understand this process was difficult for the witnesses involved and we thank them for their participation. Due to the collectively bargained confidentiality provisions of the joint program, we are unable to provide further details at this time."
In a statement released on Twitter, Bauer's attorney Shawn Holley and agents Rachel Luba and Jon Fetterolf said, "While we are pleased that Mr. Bauer has been reinstated immediately, we disagree that any discipline should have been imposed. Mr. Bauer looks forward to his return to the field, where his goal remains to help his team win a WS" -- a reference to the World Series.
Bauer has not pitched for the Dodgers since June 2021. He was placed on administrative leave in July 2021, shortly after a San Diego woman came forward and alleged Bauer battered her during a pair of violent sexual encounters.
A judge initially issued a temporary restraining order against him, but later declined to extend the order, ruling after an extensive hearing that Bauer and the woman engaged in rough sex within boundaries that the woman herself helped determine.
The District Attorney's Office also declined to pursue any charges in the case.
Bauer repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
"In the strongest possible terms, I deny committing any violation of the league's domestic violence & sexual assault policy," Bauer wrote on his Twitter page when the suspension was announced in April. "I am appealing this action and expect to prevail. As we have throughout this process, my representatives & I respect the confidentiality of the proceedings."
Bauer signed a three-year contract with the Dodgers in February 2020, worth $102 million.
The initial two-year suspension would have extended beyond his contract with the Dodgers.