Dodgers executives comfortable with decision to cut Trevor Bauer

Nearly a month since he was fired from the organization, Trevor Bauer remains a hot topic for Dodgers Brass.

On Wednesday, club president Stan Kasten and baseball operations president Andrew Friedman addressed the team’s decision to part ways with the embattled pitcher at a meeting with local reporters at Dodger Stadium, the first time club officials have publicly discussed it since his firing last month peasants spoke .

However, they also left some pressing questions unanswered, notably the details of a meeting Dodgers executives had with Bauer the day before the announcement that they would be releasing him.

“We feel good about our process and what got us to where we are now,” Friedman said.

“I stand by our decision,” Kasten added. “I’m very comfortable with it.”

Before Wednesday, the Dodgers’ only public statement regarding Bauer’s release came in a 117-word press release announcing that the pitcher would no longer be part of the organization after serving a 194-game suspension for violating policy to domestic violence and sexual assault in Major League Baseball.

Although Bauer’s suspension was reduced from the original 324-game ban imposed by the league – the result of a lengthy appeal to an independent referee who found Bauer eligible to field 2023 after spending the previous season and a half in the administrative leave – It was still the longest suspension under the league’s seven-year policy.

Friedman this Wednesday cited a key factor in the Dodgers’ decision to part ways with the former Cy Young Award winner, whom the club still owes on a reduced salary of $22.5 million this season.

But even after Bauer’s suspension was settled on Dec. 22, the Dodgers didn’t announce they had fired him until Jan. 6, the last day of the two-week deadline by which they had to either cut the pitcher off or put it back on their active pitcher List.

So why did it take so long?

“We took the time to gather as much input as possible to ensure we were making the right decision,” Kasten said, adding that the timing of the holiday season contributed to the delayed decision. “We did that. We feel we made the right decision.”

Part of the Dodgers’ process, Kasten confirmed Wednesday, involved team officials meeting with Bauer in Arizona on Jan. 5 — before the club made its decision.

Bauer previously claimed in a statement that during that meeting, unnamed members of the “Dodgers leadership” told the pitcher “that they wanted me to come back and pitch for the team this year.”

While that account was quickly disputed by people familiar with the situation but not authorized to speak publicly, Kasten declined to address it directly on Wednesday.

“I will not disagree or agree to anything that should be a private conversation,” Kasten said. “I’m just saying we came back in no time and made our decision. I think that speaks for itself.”

When asked if Bauer — who has denied allegations of sexual assault by several women — could have said or committed anything at that meeting that would have prompted the Dodgers to bring him back, Kasten again parried.

“I think we all had strong feelings and until we made a decision – those of us who made that decision – until we made a decision, I guess anything was possible,” Kasten said. “But I think we all had a strong feeling throughout the process about how to deal with it.”

Kasten also declined to disclose who represented the Dodgers at the meeting and what issues they discussed with Bauer.

“I understand the question, but we wouldn’t even have talked about the meeting if someone else hadn’t made it public,” Kasten said. “So I don’t want to talk about what happened at the meeting. I don’t think that’s fair. I don’t want to talk about what happened, what was discussed, what wasn’t discussed or who was there. But we heard from him. I thought it would be the right thing. I’m glad we did it, along with everything else we did to make the best decision possible.”

Kasten insisted that Bauer’s release “was unanimous among those charged with making that decision” – but again declined to say which members of the organization were part of that group.

“It was an organizational decision,” said Kasten. “I will say that I am responsible for everything that happens here. But everyone who needed to be involved was involved, included in the discussion at all times. In the end it was certainly unanimous. And as I have said before and will continue to say, we firmly believe that we made the right decision.”

Dodgers officials had not previously addressed Bauer’s release, citing MLB rules that limit what teams can say about active free agents. Bauer could also hypothetically file a complaint against the Dodgers if they make comments that diminish his worth.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, Chief Marketing Officer Lon Rosen and General Manager Brandon Gomes answered questions from reporters.

Gomes and Friedman will not be attending the club’s FanFest event in Chavez Ravine on Saturday due to travel conflicts.

Friedman didn’t say Wednesday whether he regretted signing Bauer to a three-year, $102 million deal two offseasons ago, but conceded afterwards that “the way it played out is obviously not what it was.” we thought”.

From a baseball perspective, Friedman also claimed the Bauer situation hasn’t hampered the club’s offseason activities, even though the money the Dodgers owe him this year all but ensures the franchise exceeds MLB’s luxury tax threshold for a exceeded for the third consecutive season.

“Obviously we didn’t know what the result was [of Bauer’s suspension] would be,” Friedman said. “But we’ve been pursuing some more aggressive things this winter that didn’t pan out.”

Ultimately, the club settled on a series of smaller, last-minute signings that left some factions of the fan base unsatisfied in a winter that saw stars like Trea Turner, Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger all depart in free hands – and Bauer’s situation continues to dominate one Much of the conversation around the club.

“The way things have turned out, we feel good about our decision to continue [from Bauer] and focus on the guys we have,” Friedman said. “We feel like we’re going to have a really good team this year.” Dodgers executives comfortable with decision to cut Trevor Bauer

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