Major League Baseball has unveiled its first comprehensive domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy.

The agreement announced jointly Friday by the commissioner's office and the players' union has been in the works since last year, following a series of high-profile domestic violence cases involving NFL players.

The policy covers treatment and intervention, education, investigation and discipline of players.

Commissioner Rob Manfred is given broad discretion for determining the length of punishment players for ``just cause'' _ there are no maximum or minimum penalties prescribed in the deal. He also is given the authority to suspend a player with pay while legal proceedings are ongoing.

Players can appeal any discipline to an arbitration panel comprised of a representative of each party and an independent arbitrator.

The policy also creates a joint policy board for the purpose of providing the player with the appropriate treatment, which could include mandatory counseling and psychological evaluation.  (Associated Press)