Major League Baseball suspended New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia for 15 games for violation of the league’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy, the league announced Wednesday.
Familia was arrested on Oct. 31 in Fort Lee, N.J., after his wife, Bianca Rivas, called authorities and said that her husband was getting violent and drunk. Rivas had visible injuries when she spoke with police, which included a scratch on the chest and a bruise on her right cheek.
In a statement, Familia said that he "never physically touched, harmed or threatened my wife that evening," but that he acted "in an unacceptable manner."
Familia later had the simple assault charges dropped by prosecutors. He and his wife both cooperated with MLB's own independent investigation, with each denying that any physical violence had taken place the night of the incident.
"The evidence reviewed by my office does not support a determination that Mr. Familia physically assaulted his wife, or threatened her or others with physical force or harm, on October 31, 2016," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "Nevertheless, I have concluded that Mr. Familia's overall conduct that night was inappropriate, violated the Policy, and warrants discipline. It is clear that Mr. Familia regrets what transpired that night and takes full responsibility for his actions."
Along with his suspension, Familia will lose 18 days' worth of pay, or roughly $700,000, and will be required to speak with other players about domestic violence issues and donate his time and money to domestic violence prevention organizations. Manfred's statement also noted that Familia has completed 12 90-minute counseling sessions regarding domestic violence, and that he "received a favorable evaluation from the counselor regarding his willingness to take concrete steps to ensure he is not involved in another incident of this type."
Familia, 27, was an All-Star in 2016 and led MLB with 51 saves. He had a 2.55 ERA with 84 strikeouts in 77 2/3 innings pitched for New York last season.