MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says he hopes to deal with domestic violence rulings in three high-profile cases by opening day.
In a Q&A with Harvard Law Today, Manfred discussed the league’s new domestic violence policy and how the league is dealing with the cases of Aroldis Chapman (Yankees), Jose Reyes (Rockies) and Yasiel Puig (Dodgers) after their respective off-season incidents.
“The policy provides that discipline has to be imposed pursuant to the standard just-cause provision that’s common in most labor agreements,” Manfred said. “Obviously, we’re going to look at a variety of issues, including whether or not there’s a criminal conviction, although that’s not outcome-determinative, the nature of the conduct involved, and all of the facts and circumstances surrounding each individual situation.”
“I would hope to deal with all three cases before Opening Day,” he added when asked about timing. “The fact of the matter is the timing in these cases is partially driven by the criminal process. Obviously, information is a lot easier to get from law-enforcement authorities once the criminal process has run its course. So we’re a little hamstrung. We’re a little at the mercy of the timing of the criminal process, in at least one of the cases.”
In December, Chapman allegedly fired gunshots inside his garage and choked his girlfriend. Police closed the investigation amid a lack of evidence.
Reyes was arrested in Hawaii Oct. 31 on charges of assaulting his wife in a hotel.
Puig was investigated by MLB after an altercation at a Miami bar in late November involving a fight with a bouncer. Neither party pressed charges.
The MLB season begins April 3.