New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman was suspended on Tuesday for 30 games by Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred under the league’s new domestic violence policy.
The disciplinary action concludes MLB’s investigation into Chapman for his role in incident last October in which he’s alleged to have choked his girlfriend. Additionally, Chapman admitted to firing eight shots from a handgun while in his garage during the dispute.
Chapman cooperated with MLB’s investigation and said he will not appeal the punishment. He remains eligible to participate in Yankees’ Spring Training and preseason games.
Chapman’s suspension will begin Opening Day. The earliest date in which the left-handed closer can return is Monday, May 9 when the Yankees begin a four-game series against the Kansas City Royals.
Had Chapman been suspended 40 or more games, it would have kept the 28 year old under team control through next season. Instead, Chapman remains eligible for free agency after the 2016 season.
After exchanging salary figures — Chapman at $13.1 million and the Yankees at $9 million — the two sides avoided arbitration by agreeing on a one-year, $11.325 million contract.
The Dodgers had a trade in place to acquire Chapman at the Winter Meetings, however it was put on hold once a report surfaced of his involvement in last year’s dispute. Los Angeles decided it was in their best interest to move on from the deal, and Chapman was eventually traded to New York.
Chapman’s case is one of three domestic violence incidents MLB currently has on their plate. Last week, Colorado Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes was placed on paid leave pending completion of his case in Hawaii.
The investigation into Yasiel Puig’s fight with a bouncer outside a Miami bar remains ongoing. Of the three players, only Reyes was arrested and charged. It’s believed a ruling in Puig’s case will be handed down prior to Opening Day for the Dodgers, which is April 4 in San Diego.