Bauer played in Japan last season, as no MLB team would sign him amid sexual assault and domestic violence allegations. While Bauer has since settled that dispute out of court, he has yet to find a new home in MLB. Bauer's lawyerJon Fetterolf said Bauer is willing to take the lowest salary in MLB.
“This isn’t about the money,” Fetterolf said. “Really, what he’s looking for is only a chance and an opportunity.”
As talented as Bauer once was, he also hasn't faced major-league pitching in a year and brings with him a like PR disaster. He is still facing allegations for sexual assault and wants a short-term contract loaded with incentives. He may succeed and return to All-Star form, but at what cost?
Why the Red Sox shouldn't sign Trevor Bauer, explained
Bauer spent last season with the Yokohama Bay Stars and went 10-4 with a 2.76 ERA. While good numbers, even in NPB, there's bound to be an adjustment period for the former ace as he returns to MLB.
But the biggest obstacle for Bauer in signing with an MLB team is himself. Bauer is essentially a glorified influencer who is also good at baseball. While other controversial stars in sports can lay low in hopes of returning to the highest level, Bauer does not seem capable.
Bauer served the longest domestic violence suspension in MLB history. The Dodgers were reportedly open to keeping him around had Bauer shown any remorse for his alleged actions, or even how he carried himself during the investigation process. Yet, that did not occur, and LA moved on. It should be noted that much of that meeting is under dispute, as are many details surrounding Bauer's exit from MLB.
In a sense, though, that's the problem. Bauer cannot be counted on right now, and we don't know the truth. Perhaps he'll one day return, but for now it's tough to blame MLB teams (including the Red Sox) for steering clear.