Yankees' Chapman suspended for 30 games after domestic violence incident
New York Yankees reliever Aroldis Chapman has been suspended for 30 games by the MLB for his role in a domestic dispute in October.
Chapman - acquired from the Cincinnati Reds in January - was accused of choking his girlfriend in their home on October 30 and of firing eight gunshots into a ceiling, according to a police report of the incident.
No charges were filed but under MLB's new domestic violence policy, commissioner Rob Manfred can hand out any punishment regardless of any criminal conviction, while players will have the ability to challenge their case in front of an independent arbitrator.
The 28-year-old reliever will not appeal and is eligible to return on May 9 against the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium.
He is allowed to continue to play for the Yankees during spring training but will lose approximately $1.7million in salary, according to reports.
"Today, I accepted a 30 game suspension from Major League Baseball resulting from my actions on October 30, 2015," Chapman said in a statement on Tuesday.
"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 team-mates 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 team-mates and my family, I will have no further comment."
It is the first domestic violence punishment handed out by Manfred. He still has a pair of cases to rule on involving Jose Reyes and Yasiel Puig.
Perennially among the most dominant relievers in baseball, Chapman led all closers (50 or more appearances) with a 1.63 ERA and 163 strikeouts in 66 1/3 innings last season.
He converted 33 of 36 save opportunities, a career low, but averaged nearly 100 mph on his fastball and shows no signs of slowing down.
With Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances in the bullpen, the Yankees should be fine until Chapman returns.