New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman will have to wait to start his 2016. Chapman been suspended 30 games without pay by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and will not appeal the decision.
Chapman will lose roughly $1.7 million in salary while serving his suspension. He’ll be allowed to pitch and work out with the team and pitch in spring training games. He will not be allowed to play during the regular season until May 9.
Manfred made the following comments in a statement released by MLB:
“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, who recently turned 28, has pitched to a 2.17 ERA with 146 saves across parts of six big-league seasons. Along the way, he’s struck out 546 batters in 319 innings.
The Yankees will likely start the year with Andrew Miller closing and may take an extra reliever with multiple off days in April.
MLB handed out the punishment despite no formal charges being brought against him. Clearly Manfred did not want to mishandle this case as the NFL did last year with the Ray Rice case.
“This is a tough issue,” union chief Tony Clark said this week. “I mean, it’s a tough issue. And one where, as you learn more about what it actually is, what it looks like, what it sounds like, you can appreciate the challenges that exist. So as much as we’re talking about sports, and we may be talking about athletes, this is a societal issue that affects athletes and their families, as well. Sometimes that gets lost.”
The players union supported the decision by the Commissioner. We say good for the Commissioner.