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Former Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer signs with the Japanese team

Trevor Bauer, effectively exiled from Major League Baseball after his suspension expired for violating the league’s sexual assault policy, reportedly agreed to play in Japan.

The Yokohama Bay Stars have agreed to a one-year, $3 million contract with Bauer, Sanspo Sports reported Monday morning. Bauer’s representatives declined to comment, and the team has not made any announcements, although one could arrive as early as Monday night, according to a person familiar with the matter but not authorized to discuss it.

The Dodgers released Bauer instead of reinstating him to their roster. They are still responsible for his $22.5 million salary this season. Had Bauer signed with another major league team, that team would have paid Bauer the MLB minimum of $720,000 and the Dodgers would have paid the balance.

In December, an arbitrator ended Bauer’s suspension, which would have extended through the 2024 season. Had the suspension remained in effect, Bauer would not have been able to sign in Japan, where MLB suspensions are honored, a report said Monday. league official.

Bauer, 32, a 2020 NL Cy Young winner, signed a three-year, $102 million contract with the Dodgers before the 2021 season. The suspension cost him — and saved the Dodgers — $37.5 million. He made 17 starts for the team, including his last MLB appearance on June 28, 2021.

The next day, a San Diego woman who had met Bauer online filed for a permanent restraining order against him and provided medical records showing he had been diagnosed with “assault by hand strangulation” and “acute head injury” after the second of two sexual encounters with him. him.

The restraining order was denied by a judge who ruled that Bauer posed no future threat to the woman. Bauer maintains that the sex was rough but consensual and that the woman was not visibly injured when she left her home after the encounter. He was not charged with any crime.

The league placed him on research leave and later suspended him. Even with the umpire reducing the ban from 324 to 194 games, the suspension remains the longest ever imposed under MLB’s policy against sexual assault and domestic violence.

Bauer maintains that he has done nothing wrong. The Sanspo Sports report said Yokohama officials investigated those issues and discussed them with Bauer before offering him a contract, but no details were released.

Bauer has sued six parties for defamation, including the San Diego woman, who responded by returning the lawsuit and alleging sexual assault. Three of the defamation suits have been dismissed.

Bauer asked a US District Court judge to dismiss the woman’s counterclaim against him, arguing that her failure to obtain a restraining order necessarily meant he had not committed assault or battery.

In denying the request, Judge James Selna wrote that “the state court proceedings did not necessarily find that Bauer did not mistreat or sexually abuse her.”

Bauer’s lawyers have said: “No settlement or cash offer has ever been and ever will be made” to the woman. The trial is scheduled for next February. Any expression of apology from Bauer would likely become problematic for him at trial.

Bauer is believed to be the second player to win a Cy Young Award and then play in Japan.

In 1962, before retiring at age 37, Dodgers great Don Newcombe played a farewell season for Chunichi, as an outfielder and first baseman. Newcombe hit .262 with 12 home runs in 81 games and a .789 on-base plus slugging percentage.