Trevor Bauer, disgraced former Cy Young winner, signs in Japan


Trevor Bauer, the former Los Angeles Dodgers pitching ace whose career was doomed after multiple sexual assault allegations, has agreed to pitch for the Yokohama DeNA BayStars, a professional Japanese baseball team.

Bauer, who won a National League Cy Young Award in 2020, was serving a record suspension for violating the league’s domestic violence policy from MLB when he was reinstated by an umpire in December. Since his reinstatement, he had sought a return to MLB.

The last time Bauer signed a contract with the Dodgers, it was for $102 million over three seasons, a deal announced with an on-field press conference at Dodger Stadium. This time Sankei Sports, a newspaper in Japan, broke the news of Bauer’s signing. According to this article, Bauer’s contract is 400 million yen, or about $3 million, for one season.

The team confirmed Bauer’s signing Monday night and released a video in which Bauer said that playing in Nippon Professional Baseball – his new league – “has always been a dream of mine and I can’t think of a better organization to do it.”

Bauer’s representatives did not respond to messages seeking comment.

The Dodgers will still owe Bauer $22.5 million in 2023. If he had signed with an MLB team, that team — which would likely have acquired him for the league minimum — would have only matched his Dodgers’ salary. But because Bauer signed with a foreign club, the Japanese salary will be paid in addition to the Dodgers’ salary.

In January, a Bauer representative told the Washington Post that he was “negotiating with several MLB teams for a new contract.” However, the overseas deal suggests MLB teams have passed on the once-dominant pitcher, who has been dogged by a string of similar accusations since a first accuser emerged in June 2021.

After this woman sought a restraining order against Bauer, alleging that he strangled her unconscious and repeatedly beat her during a sexual encounter that led to her hospitalization, other women came forward with similar allegations of non-consensual sex violence.

After a lengthy investigation in April, MLB suspended Bauer for 324 games, or two full seasons, the longest suspension in the history of the league’s domestic violence policy. Bauer appealed, which led to months of confidential hearings at which at least two of his accusers testified against him. A referee reduced the suspension to 194 games.

Prosecutors in Los Angeles declined to charge Bauer with the alleged sexual assault, and a judge there denied his original accuser’s request for a restraining order. Bauer has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and has never publicly expressed remorse over the allegations against him. Instead, he has gone on the offensive, including by filing an ongoing defamation lawsuit against one of his accusers.

After the Dodgers announced in January that they were cutting ties with him, Bauer claimed team officials told him they “wanted me to come back this year and play for the team.” He said he was “disappointed” with the team’s decision, but “look[ed] looking forward to competing elsewhere.”

The Japanese outlet, which reported Bauer’s signing, wrote that Yokohama “researched the acquisition carefully” and that the team found that “the allegations of assault against Bauer [were] dismissed for lack of evidence; without ongoing criminal prosecution against him; and after intensive talks with Bauer itself, decided to make the offer to Bauer.” Trevor Bauer, disgraced former Cy Young winner, signs in Japan

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