Jose Reyes received the harshest penalty yet under Major League Baseball’s domestic-violence policy Friday when he accepted a suspension through May 31, for what amounts to a 52-game ban.
Reyes had been on paid administrative leave since Feb. 23, in accordance with MLB’s guidelines, as the commissioner’s office completed its investigation. The Rockies shortstop, and former Met, had been scheduled to stand trial in Hawaii for “abuse of family member” on April 4, but the charges were dropped when Reyes, wife, Katherine, refused to cooperate.
In Friday’s announcement, MLB stated that Reyes will not appeal the decision, and the suspension is retroactive, meaning he must pay back the salary he accrued during the first six weeks, for a total cost of $7 million. Reyes, who is signed through 2017, has $48 million left on his contract.
“I want to apologize for everything that has happened,” Reyes said Friday in a statement. “I am sorry to the Rockies organization, my teammates, all the fans, and most of all, my family. I am happy to put this all in the past and get back to doing what I love the most, playing baseball.
“My wife Katherine has remained by my side throughout everything and for that I will be forever grateful.”
Reyes, a resident of Old Brookville, becomes the second player suspended under MLB’s relatively new domestic-violence policy, which was put in place last August. The Yankees’ Aroldis Chapman returned Monday from a 30-game ban, the penalty for an October incident at his Florida home where he fired gunshots and allegedly choked his girlfriend.
In the Chapman case, however, the Yankees’ closer was never arrested and no charges were filed. That was significantly different than what happened with Reyes, who had to be freed on bail after his Oct. 31 incident at a Hawaii hotel. Katherine Reyes told police she sustained injuries to her thigh, neck and wrist and she was treated at a local hospital, details that certainly were factored in to MLB’s decision Friday.
“I am encouraged by Mr. Reyes’ commitment to the treatment provisions of the policy,” commissioner Rob Manfred said Friday in a statement, “to ensure that such an incident does not occur in the future.” Reyes also agreed to make a $100,000 contribution to charitable organizations “focused on preventing and treating survivors of domestic violence,” Manfred added.
Reyes, 32, can participate in a workout assignment beginning June 1, but his future with the Rockies is unclear. Trevor Story, his rookie replacement, was batting .266 with 11 home runs and a .924 OPS heading into Friday’s game against the Mets at Coors Field.