NEW YORK — Trevor Bauer had his first hearing before an arbitrator Monday in his bid to have an unprecedented two-year suspension revoked under Major League Baseball’s policy against dating violence.
Bauer was suspended on April 29 by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, a sanction that if not amended will cost the Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher just over $60 million of his $102 million three-year contract.
Arbitrator Martin Scheinman is the independent member and chairman of the three-member arbitration panel that includes one representative from MLB and one from the players’ association.
A complicated grievance may require 5 to 10 hearing days plus additional time for reporting. The independent member of the panel will draft a decision.
Attorneys for Bauer and MLB declined to comment on the session.
According to the MLB-union dating violence policy agreed to in 2015, “a player may be subject to disciplinary action of termination by the commissioner for a violation of this policy in the absence of a conviction or an application to plead guilty to a crime involving an infraction.”
MLB has the burden of proof to show that a player “committed an infraction” and that the disciplinary action should be “restriction.”
A San Diego woman the pitcher met on social media says Bauer beat and sexually assaulted her last year. The woman then applied for a restraining order but she was denied. The Los Angeles district attorney’s office said in February that there was insufficient evidence to show the woman’s allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.
Bauer, who hasn’t played since the allegations came to light last summer and MLB began its investigation, has repeatedly said that everything that happened between him and the woman had their consent.
The pitcher said they both engaged in rough sex at his home in Pasadena at her suggestion and would do as they agreed. Each encounter ended with the two of them joking around and her spending the night at the house, the player said.
Bauer also sued the woman in federal court, three months after prosecutors decided not to file criminal charges against her.
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Bauer had his first hearing before an arbitrator