Trevor Bauer, the Los Angeles Dodgers star pitcher under investigation by the authorities in Southern California after a woman accused him of sexual assault, was placed on short-term administrative leave Friday by Major League Baseball.
The move, at least for now, forestalls what could have been the specter of Bauer taking the mound while the police and the league continued their investigations, with details of the accusations publicly known. On Thursday, Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts had said the team planned to let Bauer, 30, make his next scheduled start, on Sunday in Washington, because it was following the lead of M.L.B., which had yet to say Bauer should not play.
“M.L.B.’s investigation into the allegations made against Trevor Bauer is ongoing,” the league said in a statement on Friday. “While no determination in the case has been made, we have made the decision to place Mr. Bauer on seven-day administrative leave effective immediately. M.L.B. continues to collect information in our ongoing investigation concurrent with the Pasadena Police Department’s active criminal investigation.”
M.L.B.’s collectively bargained policy on domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse gives Bauer the right to contest the administrative leave. But he will not challenge M.L.B.’s decision, according to his agents, Jon Fetterolf and Rachel Luba, who continued to rebut the accuser’s claims.
“Mr. Bauer will not appeal M.L.B.’s decision to place him on administrative leave at this time in an effort to minimize any distraction to the Dodgers organization and to his teammates,” the agents said in an emailed statement. “Of note, administrative leave is neither a disciplinary action nor does it in any way reflect a finding in the league’s investigation.”
Under the collectively bargained rules, the M.L.B. commissioner, Rob Manfred, can place a player accused of a violation on administrative leave, in which he is paid but not allowed to take part in games, and the move “shall not be considered disciplinary.” The commissioner can also defer placing a player on such leave until he is either charged with a crime or the commissioner’s office receives “credible information corroborating the allegations.”
At the end of the seven days, M.L.B. can request an extension from the players’ union.
On Tuesday, a woman filed a request in Los Angeles County Superior Court for a temporary domestic violence restraining order against Bauer. The request was granted. The police in Pasadena, Calif., confirmed on Tuesday that a woman had accused Bauer of assaulting her in the city on or around May 16, and that they had begun looking into the accusation soon after it was reported to them.
The woman’s lawyer, Marc H. Garelick, said his client had suffered “severe physical and emotional pain” from an assault by Bauer. Fetterolf has denied any wrongdoing by his client, saying Bauer and the accuser had a “brief and wholly consensual sexual” relationship that was initiated by the woman in April and consisted of two encounters. The agent said Bauer had messages from the woman asking that she be choked and slapped.
After learning of the allegations on Tuesday, M.L.B. also began looking into the matter. On Wednesday, details of the woman’s allegations were published in news reports.
Included in the documents requesting the temporary restraining order were a statement from the woman, medical evaluations, photographs of the woman’s bruised face and what were described as screenshots of messages between her and Bauer. In the request, the woman said that what began as a consensual relationship with some rough sex led to anal sex without her consent, in addition to her being choked with her hair until she lost consciousness and being punched.
Bauer can formally contest the restraining order in a hearing scheduled for July 23 in Los Angeles.
During the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Bauer posted a 1.73 earned run average over 73 innings with the Cincinnati Reds to win his first Cy Young Award. Over the winter, Bauer, who has also pitched for Arizona and Cleveland, signed a free-agent deal with the Dodgers for three years and $102 million guaranteed. He has an 8-5 record and a 2.59 E.R.A. for the Dodgers in 17 starts this season.