As the National Football League dealt with multiple domestic violence incidents last year, Major League Baseball got ahead of the issue by revamping their policy for such cases.
The proactive approach came into play this offseason as New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, Colorado Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig were involved in alleged domestic violence disputes.
Of the three, only Reyes was arrested and faces charges. However, Chapman’s incident prevented him from being traded to the Dodgers, despite Los Angeles and the Cincinnati Reds coming to an agreement.
As reports of the domestic dispute surfaced, the trade was put on hold and eventually called off, which led to Cincinnati trading the electric closer to New York.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and other league officials have maintained the three investigations will not be rushed, though the general belief was they would be resolved prior to Spring Training beginning.
However, in a Q&A session with Jonathan Topaz of Harvard Law Today, Manfred offered a later date in which he hopes the league will reach a conclusion by:
“I would hope to deal with all three cases before Opening Day. The fact of the matter is the timing in these cases is partially driven by the criminal process. Obviously, information is a lot easier to get from law-enforcement authorities once the criminal process has run its course. So we’re a little hamstrung. We’re a little at the mercy of the timing of the criminal process, in at least one of the cases.”
Amid the ongoing investigation of Puig, the 25 year old was permitted to travel to Cuba as part of MLB’s goodwill tour last December. It was previously reported evidence was not found to support the claim Puig was physical with his sister prior to getting into a fight with a bouncer outside a Miami bar.
Last month Puig pointed to him being allowed to participate in the goodwill tour as further reason not to be worried by MLB’s investigation.