PALM BEACH, Fla. — Jeurys Familia very likely will be suspended by Major League Baseball for his domestic-abuse arrest, but it appears both he and the Mets will have to wait a few more weeks for the commissioner’s verdict on the case.
Nearly two months after Familia’s Halloween arrest at their home in Fort Lee, New Jersey, his wife, Bianca Rivas, had her request to have the charges dropped granted in December. Under MLB’s policy, however, a player still can face discipline from the commissioner, and Rob Manfred said Friday that he intends to have a resolution at some point during spring training.
“With the Familia investigation, I’m not going to say anything more than it’s ongoing,” Manfred said at the conclusion of MLB’s owners’ meetings. “I expect that we will have a decision certainly before Opening Day, but at a point in time that both the player and the club know what’s going on well in advance of Opening Day. I can’t be more concrete than that.”
A source familiar with the investigation said Familia has cooperated with MLB’s probe. During the offseason, it is not unusual for these decisions to be held up until spring training, as the penalty typically begins on Opening Day.
Last year, although he wasn’t arrested, the Yankees’ Aroldis Chapman received a 30-game suspension, mostly because of the fact that he repeatedly fired a gun into a garage wall during a domestic dispute.
After Jose Reyes’ 2015 Halloween arrest for domestic abuse in Hawaii, the case was dropped when his wife refused to cooperate with prosecutors. But Reyes, then with the Rockies and now with the Mets, was dealt a 52-game ban.
Based on these two precedents, Familia’s punishment might fall somewhere in between.
The Mets have operated under the assumption that Familia will be suspended, possibly for the first month, if not longer. Setup man Addison Reed is penciled in to be the closer, and relievers Jerry Blevins, Tom Gorzelanny and Fernando Salas were added Friday.
Manfred also addressed a number of leaguewide issues Friday, among them updated pace-of-play studies, concern over immigration in the wake of President Donald Trump’s new executive order and concern over competition in the All-Star Game.
As far as speeding up the game, Manfred said the recent collective-bargaining agreement has provided some leeway, but the commissioner did not provide specifics. He just expressed the need for it to be a group effort.
“I don’t think there’s a magic bullet that’s going to come one year and that’s going to be the solution to pace of play,” Manfred said. “I think it’s going to be an ongoing effort to make sure that our game moves along in the way that is most attractive to our fans.”
Manfred also expressed the need to be vigilant regarding how changes in immigration laws might disrupt travel for MLB players and staff.
“Obviously, our foremost concern is that players that are under contract with our organizations be able to come and go,” Manfred said. “As of right now, the countries that have been mostly affected are not places where we have players. But we are monitoring the situation.”