The decision comes after Bauer’s leave was extended a total of eight different times, in increments ranging from 7 to 13 days. It’s not a surprise that he would miss the rest of the season, but this prolonged leave was also likely prompted by Bauer’s case being handed over to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. This ensures that a final ruling will still take an indefinite amount of time, more than likely surpassing the end of the current MLB season.
This investigation has now been ongoing for more than three months and involved a hearing that denied his alleged victim of a permanent restraining order against Bauer. The investigation was initially handled by the Pasadena Police Department, before it was turned over to the Los Angeles DA after the hearing.
Now, the DA will determine whether or not it will prosecute Bauer based on the evidence that has been gathered. Because of this, Bauer could still face criminal charges based on the decision of the DA, whenever that decision ends up being made.
For now, though, Bauer remains in this state of limbo, although he is still being paid while on administrative leave. He has not received a suspension from MLB, and if he does at some point, there is still the question of if he will be suspended with or without pay. The league has said Bauer has been cooperative so far in its ongoing investigation, separate from the civil and DA case.
Going forward, Bauer’s future in MLB still seems very unclear. While Bauer awaits the DA’s decision, MLB still has that choice of what it sees fit for discipline, which would likely be one of the two suspensions previously mentioned. Based on past suspensions, Bauer would likely receive at least a year-long suspension, although questions about Bauer’s career go well past that. In the event that no criminal charges are filed, MLB issues him a year suspension, he is technically free to play after the suspension is done. The question becomes, will the Dodgers or any other team be willing to take on a player that has drawn much negative attention, and sexual assault allegations from multiple victims, not just the one currently being investigated.
Bauer’s contract made headlines this past season with a three-year, $102-million contract, making him the highest-paid player in Major League Baseball. The Dodgers technically can’t void his contract under the MLB and MLBPA policy, but given the Dodgers’ history with sexual assault incidents, it will be very telling to see how the organization handles their role in Bauer’s situation as well.