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#pounditWednesday, October 27, 2021

When will Trevor Bauer be back to pitch in MLB?

Trevor Bauer

Trevor Bauer received a legal victory on Thursday, and that has some wondering when the pitcher will make a return to MLB.

Bauer is being investigated by both the Pasadena (Calif.) Police Department and MLB for a possible assault of a woman with whom he had two sexual encounters earlier this year (in April and May). There is no update yet on the status of either investigation. However, there was an update Thursday on the restraining order portion of the matter.

The woman accusing Bauer of assault sought and was granted in June an ex parte restraining order against the pitcher. An ex parte restraining order means the request was granted based on her story, and without a response from Bauer. Bauer finally had his court hearing about the situation, and the judge ruled on Thursday in his favor.

LA Superior Court judge Dianna Gould-Saltman dissolved the ex parte restraining order and denied the request for a permanent restraining order. Gould-Saltman declared that the two sexual encounters were consensual. She also said that what the woman thought was a boundary, and what the woman communicated to Bauer, were two different things. Gould-Saltman determined that Bauer respected the clear boundaries the woman communicated to him.

Gould-Saltman denied the restraining order because she also did not determine Bauer posed a threat to the woman. The pitcher had not contacted the woman for a month prior to her seeking the restraining order.

“We are grateful to the Los Angeles Superior Court for denying the request for a permanent restraining order and dissolving the temporary restraining order against Mr. Bauer today. While we have expected this outcome since the petition was filed in June, we appreciate the Court reviewing all relevant information and testimony to make this informed decision,” Bauer’s attorneys Shawn Holley and Jon Fetterolf said in a statement.

Those are the facts so far. Below we are moving into opinion-based speculation about the matter.

If those were Gould-Saltman’s reasons for denying the restraining order, we doubt that the Pasadena Police Department will move forward with charges against Bauer. If the judge did not find that the woman clearly communicated to Bauer that he was crossing a line, and she found that Bauer respected the boundaries the woman did set, then the police and any prosecutor will likely have a difficult time proving he committed a crime.

Bauer already has defeated the request for a restraining order. Next, the police will likely say they are not charging Bauer with a crime. From there, it will be up to MLB to see whether they punish Bauer. The league could punish him for engaging in violent behavior with the woman, regardless of whether the behavior was consensual or not.

My guess is that whatever happens, Bauer will not pitch again this season. The Dodgers already seemed to hint that Bauer will not be back with them. He would have to be in a team’s organization by Aug. 31 to be eligible for the postseason, and he is just running out of time to be able to pitch again this season.

First, Bauer’s paid administrative leave period, which is running through Aug. 20, would have to end. The administrative leave probably will not end until the police and/or MLB conclude their investigations. Then Bauer would have to resume a throwing program to ramp up to pitch again, which could take some time. But none of that will even matter if the Dodgers don’t want him on the team.

My guess is they will probably trade or cut him over the offseason. Bauer then likely won’t pitch again until next season. And he probably won’t find a new team for several months, after a good portion of the negative attention from the allegations have passed.

Bauer has been receiving pay while out on administrative leave. He is in the first season of a 3-year, $102 million contract he signed with the Dodgers prior to the season.

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