What might an MLB owner ask Trevor Bauer? Here’s a transcript of what he had to say.

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer throws a pitch in the second inning against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, California, on May 9, 2021. (Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — On a Monday night three years ago, the Dodgers’ Trevor Bauer threw what might have been the last pitch of his major league career, a third strike. The next day, a woman named Lindsey Hill obtained a temporary restraining order against him, providing hospital records that said she had been diagnosed with “acute head injury” and “assault by manual strangulation” in the wake of a sexual encounter.

A court denied Hill a permanent restraining order against Bauer, and the Los Angeles County district attorney declined to file charges against him.


Major League Baseball placed him on paid leave and, after months of investigation that included allegations from other women, ultimately suspended him for violating its policy against sexual assault and domestic violence. None of the allegations resulted in charges.

His suspension expired before the 2023 season, but no major league team signed him last year, and he pitched in Japan.

He would like to return to the major leagues, but spring training is underway and no team has offered him a contract. Any team that would offer him a contract almost certainly would require him to meet with its owner.

What might that meeting be like? I met with Bauer to ask him things an owner might ask, posing questions as if I were an actual owner.

What follows is a transcript of that meeting edited for clarity. Bauer’s agent, Rachel Luba, participated in the interview.

— As an owner, I’ll let my baseball people evaluate baseball skill. But there are close to two dozen starting pitchers still out there as free agents, and there are other guys my team could trade for. Maybe some of those pitchers are better than you. Maybe they’re not. But acquiring any of them would not divide my fan base in the way I think signing you would. So why should I sign you? I know I can help the team. I know that I can help the other players in the clubhouse. The one thing I’m most passionate about is helping young guys develop so — outside of just my performance, which I am confident in — I know I can make my teammates better. I can make the organization better. I have ideas I could share.

Off the field, I’ve obviously made some mistakes along the way. I’d like to be an example of doing the second half of my career better than the first half of my career. I’d like to show that people can learn from mistakes, change, and get better.

I think that I have a unique ability to connect with a fan base, outside of the normal on-field stuff and team-related stuff. I have a large platform that I can connect with people on. I am passionate about helping the community and the game of baseball. I’ve probably gone about it in the wrong way. Some of the things I’ve done have been good. Some have been bad. But I’ve learned a lot over the years. I’d like to be able to connect with a fan base, help grow the game of baseball, and help grow the organization that I am with.

I get there are concerns over splitting the fan base and dividing it. I think the effect there would be a little less than people may think it can be. But I also know all the things I have to offer to a fan base, from a fan engagement perspective. Getting a second chance and showing you can learn from it and improve, I think that is a strong message that should be talked about.

— I’ve read that you thought whatever controversy might surround signing you would blow over in about three days. Why do you think that?

I’m not sure if it would be three days, or five, or whatever, but it would be shorter than the vast majority of people think. I have a lot of support from players and coaches around the league. I haven’t talked about that publicly because I don’t want to make those private conversations public. I appreciate you asking Mookie [Betts] his thoughts. He obviously took some flak when he said that, so I don’t want to put others in that position, players or coaches that might not have the same standing he does.

But I know the type of support that I have around the league, from players and coaches and front offices. I don’t think there would be any problem there. I also know the support that I have from fan bases.

The majority of reads that people get on stuff are from Twitter conversations. This entire time, I’ve not had a single negative interaction with anyone in person. No one has said anything negative to me. They’ve all expressed a bunch of support. So I think the support for me getting a second chance and getting to go play is a lot larger than people can measure.

I think people can look at the situation and make their own decisions. I can see people can see one side of things: I did not do what I was accused of. I think they also see the other side of things, which is: I made some mistakes along the way. I have acknowledged those.

— If we sign you, we’ll have a press conference. You’ll do interviews. You’ll interact with fans. When you say you’ll talk about your mistakes, can you be clear about what exactly you think those mistakes were? What exactly are you apologizing for, and what are you not?

I have three main categories. The biggest one is my interactions with women.

I did not do what I was accused of. But I was also pretty reckless with the people I hung out with, and the things that I agreed to do with them. That put a lot of people at risk, by opening myself up to something like this. It puts teammates and the organization at risk. It puts my family at risk. It obviously puts myself at risk.

I missed a lot of time with the Dodgers. I wasn’t there for the playoffs in multiple years. I cost them a lot of money. That wasn’t fair to my teammates and the organization.

Those are things I have stopped doing. I don’t meet people online any more. I met people online before, and that exposed me to a lot of potential bad stuff. No casual sexual relationships. I’m not sleeping around. I’m not agreeing to do the types of things in bed I did with people. I’m not having rough sex, to be specific. I don’t do that any more, even if people ask for it. That is not something I am willing to engage in.

I keep my circle a lot tighter. I don’t allow a lot of people into it. I’ve never really been out chasing women, but I don’t really meet people any more. I work, I do baseball, and that’s what makes me happy.

The second category: In my interactions with media over the years, I’ve made the situation a lot more difficult for a lot of people. I could have made things easier for the Dodgers, for the league, for my teammates.

The accusations were very serious. They should be covered. I don’t want to detract from the serious nature of what was alleged. But I think less media attention would have made things easier for everyone. I think there was extra attention on the situation because of the contentious relationships I’ve had with the media, how I’ve attacked certain people, the types of things that I’ve said, the persona I had on social media.

I can speak specifically about Ken Rosenthal. We had our vlog that got seen by hundreds of thousands of people every five days, and I started every one of them off by attacking Ken personally. At the time, I had my reasons for doing so. In retrospect, I think it was extremely immature. I should have just called him and talked to him and had a human conversation with him. That goes for plenty of other people that I have responded to, in person and also on social media.

I’ve done a lot of reflection over the past three years and tried to figure out why I responded that way. I think it was because I never really had a voice as a kid. I was bullied a lot. My life got significantly better when I started sticking up for myself, speaking up and fighting back. I let that play out too long and didn’t adjust the way I operate. So, any time someone would say something negative, I would just fight back.

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