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Mookie Betts hopes Trevor Bauer gets another shot in MLB

Trevor Bauer warms up before a game

May 21, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Trevor Bauer (27) walks on the field before the game against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Trevor Bauer has not pitched in an MLB game in over two years. His former Los Angeles Dodgers teammate Mookie Betts is hoping Bauer’s absence from the majors doesn’t extend to three.

Betts was present during Game 3 of the World Series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers at Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz. He was invited by MLB to provide behind-the-scenes content for both the league’s cable network and social media platforms.

LA Times writer Bill Shaikin interviewed Betts during his stint as a temporary MLB correspondent. Betts was asked about a variety of topics, such as the lengthy layoff for non-Wild Card teams before the Division Series, and his plans for what comes next after baseball.

During the interview, Betts also gave his take on the Bauer situation. The 2018 AL MVP expressed his support for Bauer’s potential return to MLB. Betts mentioned that he hopes teams would “consider signing” Bauer this winter.

He also gave a glowing account of his time as teammates with Bauer on the Dodgers.

“My experience with Bauer is not anything remotely close to what everyone else’s experience is,” Betts told Shaikin. “I love him. I think he’s an awesome guy. The personal things? I have no control. I have no say. Obviously, nothing ever came from it. … But, at the end of the day, I don’t make the decision. That’s a decision that’s not as simple as baseball.”

Betts was traded to the Dodgers in 2020, a year before Bauer signed with them. So they overlapped for one season. His words of support for Bauer are interesting considering the LA Times reported in 2021 that Dodgers players didn’t want Bauer back. No players spoke positively about Bauer at the time, but it’s clear Betts felt differently from what was portrayed at the time.

Betts also appeared to have been alluding to Bauer never being criminally charged over the assault and sexual misconduct allegations he faced. Bauer had been accused by Lindsey Hill of assaulting her during their two consensual sexual encounters in the spring of 2021. Bauer was placed on paid administrative leave after MLB learned of the allegations.

Bauer’s last MLB game played was on June 28, 2021, during a 3-2 Dodgers win over the San Francisco Giants.

Though he was never criminally charged, Bauer, who insisted he had not done anything wrong, was initially given a 364-game suspension under MLB’s domestic violence policy. An arbitrator later reduced that penalty, giving Bauer credit for some previous time served.

Bauer and his accuser, Lindsey Hill, had filed civil lawsuits against each other but recently reached an agreement to drop their suits. Bauer also released new evidence earlier this month to support his assertion that he did nothing wrong.

Bauer originally signed a 3-year, $102 million deal with the Dodgers ahead of the 2021 season. He went 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA over 17 starts with the team. He won the 2020 NL Cy Young Award with Cincinnati. The 32-year-old pitcher spent this season pitching in Japan. He went 11-4 with a 2.59 ERA for the Yokohama BayStars.

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