The leader of the New York City Council says she is “very disturbed” by the Yankees’ completing a trade for Aroldis Chapman, the Cincinnati Reds’ All-Star closer under investigation for domestic violence.
Major League Baseball and Florida prosecutors are looking at allegations that Chapman pushed and choked his girlfriend, and fired eight gunshots in the garage of his Miami-area house in October.
Urging the Yankees to reconsider, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito accused the Yankees of “condoning this kind of violence when you bring him on to be part of this team.”
“I think it was really wrong of the Yankees to have signed this guy on. We all want the Yankees to do well — but at the expense of what, right?” said Mark-Viverito, a Democrat who represents parts of Manhattan and the Bronx. She spoke with reporters after attending an NYPD graduation ceremony at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.
Florida state prosecutors said they would consider criminal charges against Chapman, a Cuban defector whose 103-mph fastball is the major league’s fastest, after a police report about the alleged violence by the four-time All-Star leaked to Yahoo Sports earlier this month.
News of the allegations stymied an earlier trade between the Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers, but the Yankees chose to acquire Chapman for four minor leaguers.
“Given the circumstances that currently exist, the price point on acquisition has, you know, been modified; we’re acquiring him understanding that there are some unresolved issues,” said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman after the trade was announced Monday.
The Yankees did not immediately respond to calls for comment on Mark-Viverito’s remarks.
Mayor Bill de Blasio did not condemn the trade when asked about it later Tuesday, saying instead that he must “respect the judicial process.”
“I think the Yankees often make controversial moves, and sometimes they don’t pay off, but this one’s too early to tell,” said de Blasio, an avowed Red Sox fan.