NYY Closer Chapman Becomes 1st Player Suspended Under MLB’s Domestic Violence Policy
News broke this afternoon that Chapman was suspended 30 games under the new policy, stemming from an October, 2015 incident between the lefty and his 22-year-old girlfriend at his Florida home.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred released the following statement:
"I asked my staff to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the incident involving Aroldis Chapman," Commissioner Rob Manfred said in issuing the decision. "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 Oct. 30, 2015] 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 was acquired by the Yankees this off season for four minor leaguers after a deal between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the 28-year-old's former team the Cincinnati Reds broke down following allegations of domestic violence, will be eligible to return to the club on May 9. He will lose $1.7 million due to the suspension, however.
Chapman also released a statement, following the announcement:
"Today, I accepted a 30-game suspension from Major League Baseball resulting from my actions on Oct. 30, 2015," Chapman said in a prepared statement. "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."