Major League Baseball has officially dropped the hammer on New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, suspending him for the first 30 games of the 2016 MLB season without pay.
Aroldis Chapman accepts 30 game suspension–no appeal. Effective Opening Day. Can pitch in ST games, return May 9 vs KC. #Yankees
— Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) March 1, 2016
Per ESPN’s Daren Rovell, Chapman will lose $1,856,557 during the 30 games he is suspended for as a result of MLB’s new domestic violence policy.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred released the following statement on the decision and the process that involved suspending Chapman:
“I asked my staff to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the incident involving Aroldis Chapman on October 30, 2015. Much of the information regarding the incident has been made public through documents released by law enforcement. Mr. Chapman submitted to an in-person interview with counsel present. After reviewing the staff report, I found Mr. Chapman’s acknowledged conduct on that day to be inappropriate under the negotiated Policy, particularly his use of a firearm and the impact of that behavior on his partner. I am gratified that Mr. Chapman has taken responsibility for his conduct, that he has agreed not to appeal the 30-game suspension, and that he has agreed to comply with the confidential directives of the Joint Policy Board established under the parties’ Policy to ensure that a similar incident does not occur in the future.”
Chapman himself also sent out a public statement, saying that he won’t appeal the suspension:
“Today, I accepted a 30 game suspension from Major League Baseball resulting from my actions on October 30, 2015. I want to be clear, I did not in any way harm my girlfriend that evening. However, I should have exercised better judgment with respect to my actions, and for that I am sorry. The decision to accept a suspension, as opposed to appealing one, was made after careful consideration. I made this decision in an effort to minimize the distractions that an appeal would cause the Yankees, my new teammates and most importantly, my family. I have learned from this matter, and I look forward to being part of the Yankees’ quest for a 28th World Series title. Out of respect for my teammates and my family, I will have no further comment.”
The Yankees traded for Chapman back in December while the investigation was still ongoing. The Reds, Chapman’s 2015 team, had a deal in place to trade him to the Dodgers before the domestic violence incident came up.
Chapman saved 33 games for the Reds in 2015, posting a 1.63 earned run average with 113 strikeouts over 66.1 innings of work. The Yankees bullpen shouldn’t suffer too much without Chapman’s presence, as the team still has Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller to turn to for closing purposes.
As a result of the suspension, Chapman will become a free agent after the 2016 season concludes. If MLB suspended him for 40 games or more, the Yankees would have been able to have him for 2016 and 2017.
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