After a long hiatus, Trevor Bauer is looking to return to the major leagues after a stellar run in Nippon Professional Baseball. It is now impossible to rule out the possibility of playing in the United States next year instead of Asia.
“Trevor Bauer’s agents, John Ferreroff and Rachel Luba, are meeting with teams with the hope that Bauer will be able to play in the major leagues again,” the New York Post reported on social media on the 9th (Korean time).굿모닝토토 도메인
After winning the National League Cy Young Award in 2020, Bauer became a free agent after the season, signing a three-year, $120 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In his first 17 games in a Dodger uniform, Bauer lived up to his $120 million contract by going 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA in 107⅔ innings pitched.
But Bauer’s time with the Dodgers was short-lived. He lasted less than a year on the mound. Bauer’s last start for the San Francisco Giants was on June 29, 2021, when a woman came forward and claimed to have been sexually assaulted by Bauer. The charges were dropped due to “insufficient evidence,” but it wasn’t easy for Bauer to continue his career in the United States.
In some categories, such as sexual offenses and child assault, a mere allegation is enough to trigger discipline, and Major League Baseball imposed a staggering 324-game suspension on Bauer. Bauer, who has always maintained his innocence, fought the commissioner’s office and was successful in getting the 324-game suspension reduced to 194 games last December. However, his return to the big leagues was denied.
The Dodgers decided to release him just as he was about to return from his suspension. Since then, Bauer has made various moves to continue his career in the major leagues, but he has been a “lame duck” as all 30 major league teams, including the Dodgers, have not reached out to him. That’s when the Yokohama DeNA BayStars of Nippon Professional Baseball entered the picture.
The team was aware of Bauer’s sexual assault allegations, but went ahead with the signing, and their journey together began. Bauer’s performance in Nippon Professional Baseball was nothing short of spectacular. In 19 games (two complete games), Bauer went 10-4 with a 2.76 ERA, including two monthly MVP honors. The only disappointment was a late start to the season due to an injury that kept him off the field.
However, his performance was so impressive that when his contract with Yokohama DeNA came to an end, several Japanese clubs, including his original club, Yokohama DeNA, as well as the SoftBank Hawks, expressed interest in signing him. Bauer remained tight-lipped about his next move, but he left open the possibility of returning to the major leagues, including Japan, or playing in the KBO, before returning to the United States. And now, it looks like he’s pushing for a major league return.
“Bauer is 10-4 with a 2.76 ERA for the Yokohama DeNA, including a 9-2 record with a 1.97 ERA in his last 15 starts,” wrote John Heyman, who broke the news that Bauer’s agent is meeting with major league clubs in preparation for his return. His fastball has increased an average of one mile per hour (1.61 kilometers per hour), reaching 99.3 miles per hour (159.8 kilometers per hour).”
“Bauer was accused of sexual assault in 2021 while with the Dodgers, which ruined his 2022 season, and went 10-4 with a 2.76 ERA in March with the Yokohama DeNA,” Japan’s Full Count reported, adding, “In October of this year, Bauer’s agent announced that he had settled with the woman without monetary compensation.”
If it’s true that Bauer has settled with the woman who accused him, it could pave the way for his return to Major League Baseball. He’s already served the entirety of his 194-game suspension. Furthermore, he’s shown himself to be “healthy” in Nippon Professional Baseball despite his year-plus absence. All eyes will be on Bauer’s destination for the 2024 season.