Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer was suspended Friday for two full seasons without pay by Major League Baseball for violating the league's domestic violence and sexual assault policy, which he denies.
Bauer's lengthy suspension comes after a San Diego woman, whom the pitcher had met through social media, alleged that Bauer beat and sexually abused her last year. She later sought — but was denied — a restraining order. Los Angeles prosecutors said in February there was insufficient evidence to prove the woman's accusations beyond a reasonable doubt.
Bauer repeatedly has said that everything that happened between the two was consensual.
"In the strongest possible terms, I deny committing any violation of the league's domestic violence and sexual assault policy," he said Friday in a statement. "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."
If the suspension is upheld, Bauer will lose about $60 million in salary.
Bauer earlier this week sued his accuser in federal court, a move that came less than three months after prosecutors decided not to file criminal charges against the pitcher. Bauer named the woman and one of her attorneys, Niranjan Fred Thiagarajah, as defendants in the lawsuit. The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they have been victims of sexual assault.
The lawsuit said that "the damage to Mr. Bauer has been extreme" after the woman alleged that he had choked her into unconsciousness, punched her repeatedly and had anal sex with her without her consent during two sexual encounters last year.
The pitcher has said the two engaged in rough sex at his Pasadena home at her suggestion and followed guidelines they agreed to in advance. Each encounter ended with them joking and her spending the night, he said.
Bauer was placed on administrative leave last July 2 under the joint domestic violence and sexual assault policy of MLB and the players' association. The leave has been repeatedly extended and Bauer continued to be paid his $32 million salary while on leave. He stopped getting paid Friday.
MLB announced the suspension in a short statement that did not provide details of the findings of its investigation, adding: "In accordance with the terms of the Policy, the Commissioner's Office will not issue any further statements at this point in time."
After winning his first Cy Young Award with the Cincinnati Reds in 2020, Bauer agreed to a $102 million, three-year contract to join his hometown Dodgers. He did not pitch after June 29 and finished with an 8-2 record and a 2.59 ERA in 17 appearances. He was paid his $28 million salary last year.
"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's statement said. "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."