MLB unsure of timing in Chapman, Puig and Reyes probes
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Major League Baseball still is unsure when it will complete investigations of New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig and Colorado Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes under the sport’s new domestic violence policy.
Under the agreement last August between MLB and the players’ association, discipline is not dependent on a criminal conviction. But baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday that legal probes impact baseball’s inquiry.
“I would love to have these resolved before we begin play again,” Manfred said. “The one thing I’ve learned about these cases is timing is not mine, right? You have to really rely on the criminal process playing out in order to put yourself in a position that you’re comfortable to actually know what the facts are.”
Players may be disciplined for “just cause,” the same standard used under the sport’s collective bargaining agreement. Discipline can be appealed to baseball’s independent arbitrator.
“When you have a new policy, the first ones take on a special significance in terms of tone and precedent and all those things,” Manfred said. “So I’m going to make sure that I know everything I could possibly know about each of these cases before I make any decisions.”
Florida prosecutors decided not to file charges against Chapman, whose girlfriend told officers he pushed her, put his hands around her neck and choked her during an argument in October. Broward Assistant State Attorney Stefanie Newman wrote in a close-out memo Wednesday that conflicting accounts and insufficient evidence made a conviction unlikely.
Puig sustained a swollen eye and facial bruises during a fight with a bouncer in Miami in November.
Reyes was released after posting $1,000 bail and issued a warning citation to have no contact with his wife for three days after he was arrested Oct. 31 at a resort in Hawaii. He pleaded not guilty to a charge of abuse of a family or household member.