Trevor Bauer, in Mexican League, eyes major league return

MEXICO CITY -- Trevor Bauer says while he wants to return to the major leagues, he's concentrating on his brief stint with Mexico's Diablos Rojos.

Bauer was introduced by the Diablos Rojos on Friday and is to pitch Sunday in the opener of a pair of exhibition games against a New York Yankees split squad.

The 33-year-old right-hander was given an unprecedented two-season suspension without pay by baseball Commissioner Rob Mandred in 2022 for violating the league's domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy after a San Diego woman said he beat and sexually abused her, an accusation the pitcher denied.

"I'd certainly like to pitch in the big leagues again, but right now my focus is pitching here. I try to focus on what's in front of me. What is next? I have a game against the Yankees. I want to do well to help my team," said Bauer at a press conference. "Hopefully at some point in the future I can play in the big leagues again, but I'm a Diablo right now."

Bauer was released by the Los Angeles Dodgers in January 2023. Last season he played with the Yokohama DeNA BayStars of Japan's Pacific League.

Bauer was not charged with any crime. The woman who made the accusations settled the legal dispute with the pitcher, Bauer's lawyers have said.

Diablos Rojos management said thuis week that signing Bauer will help them with marketing their brand beyond baseball.

"Besides being a great pitcher, Trevor is a creative mind, I'm a subscriber to his YouTube channel," said Santiago Harp, vice president of the Diablos board of directors. "I think that will help for more people to get to know the Diablos, and they are going to be talking a lot about this moment."

Even though Bauer is slated to play for just five games in Mexico, the Diablos Rojos said that it could change in the future.

"History will be writing itself; I can't go beyond that. We must think about what's around the corner and then we could talk," team vice president Jorge del Valle said. "We'll take it step by step let's Trevor enjoy the game on Sunday, and we'll go from there".

Bauer made at least one appearance for a barnstorming independent team this spring training against a team of Dodgers minor leaguers. He is 83-69 with a 3.79 ERA in 212 starts and 10 relief appearances with Arizona (2012), Cleveland (2013-19), Cincinnati (2019-20) and the Dodgers (2021).