The hearing on Trevor Bauer’s attempt to overturn his unprecedented two-year suspension under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy began Monday before an arbitrator.
Bauer was suspended by Commissioner Rob Manfred on April 29, a penalty that if unchanged will cost the Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher just over $60 million of his $102 million, three-year contract.
Arbitrator Martin Scheinman is the independent member and chair of a three-person arbitration panel that includes one representative each from MLB and the players’ association.
A complicated grievance can take five to 10 hearing days plus additional time for the submission of briefs. The independent member of the panel then drafts a decision.
Bauer's lawyers and MLB declined to comment on the session.
Under the domestic violence policy agreed to by MLB and the union in 2015, “a player may be subjected to disciplinary action for just cause by the commissioner for a violation of this policy in the absence of a conviction or a plea of guilty to a crime involving a covered act.”
MLB has the burden of proof of proving a player “committed a covered act” and discipline must be “for just cause.”
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A San Diego woman, whom the pitcher had met through social media, has alleged Bauer beat and sexually abused her last year. She later sought but was denied a restraining order. Los Angeles prosecutors said in February that there was insufficient evidence to prove the woman’s accusations beyond a reasonable doubt.
Bauer, who hasn’t played since the allegations surfaced last summer and MLB began investigating, repeatedly has said that everything that happened between the two was consensual. 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 also has sued the woman in federal court, a move that came less than three months after prosecutors decided not to file criminal charges against him.
The lawsuit said “the damage to Mr. Bauer has been extreme” after the woman alleged that he choked her into unconsciousness, punched her repeatedly and had anal sex with her without her consent during two sexual encounters last year.
Two women from Ohio also have accused him of sexual misconduct.
Bauer’s representatives have said the first Ohio woman’s allegation is “categorically false.” Bauer has said he had a “casual and wholly consensual sexual relationship from 2013-2018” with the other Ohio woman and that none of their encounters “ever involved a single non-consensual, let alone illegal, act.”
After winning his first Cy Young with the Cincinnati Reds in 2020, Bauer agreed to join his hometown Dodgers. He did not pitch after June 29 after being placed on administrative leave and finished with an 8-2 record and a 2.59 ERA in 17 appearances.