Jeurys Familia has been suspended 15 games for violating baseball’s policy on domestic violence, Major League Baseball announced Wednesday.
Familia, the Mets’ All-Star closer, was arrested at his home in Fort Lee, New Jersey, on Oct. 31, though his wife later dropped charges.
Familia left camp for a meeting in New York on Monday with commissioner Rob Manfred and returned to the Mets on Tuesday.
“Today, I accepted a 15-game suspension from Major League Baseball resulting from my inappropriate behavior on October 31, 2016,” Familia said in a statement released through the MLB Players’ Association. “With all that has been written and discussed regarding this matter, it is important that it be known that I never physically touched, harmed or threatened my wife that evening. I did, however, act in an unacceptable manner and am terribly disappointed in myself. I am alone to blame for the problems of that evening.”
Manfred released a statement Wednesday.
“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,” he said. “Nevertheless, I have concluded that Mr. Familia’s overall conduct that night was inappropriate, violated the Policy, and warrants discipline.”
Manfred also said that Familia has been through a dozen 90-minute sessions with a domestic violence counselor and received “a favorable evaluation from the counselor” about taking the right steps to ensure such an incident doesn’t happen again.
“Further, he has agreed to speak to other players about what he has learned through this process, and to donate time and money to local organizations aimed at the prevention of, and the treatment of victims of, domestic violence,” Manfred said.
Familia, who pitched for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, will forfeit 18 days of pay, including off-days, and a rainout could increase that number slightly, Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported. Familia stands to lose more than $700,000 in salary, Rosenthal said.
“My wife and I cooperated fully with Major League Baseball’s investigation, and I’ve taken meaningful steps to assure that nothing like this will ever happen again,” Familia said. “I have learned from this experience, and have grown as a husband, a father, and a man.”
In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, the Mets said they “fully support MLB’s domestic violence policy, the discipline handed down today by Commissioner Manfred, and the decision by Jeurys to accept his penalty without an appeal.”
The Mets already have planned for the absence of Familia, who set a franchise record last season with 51 saves, the most in the big leagues. Setup man Addison Reed is slated to step into the closer’s role.
“I apologize to the Mets’ organization, my teammates, and all my fans. I look forward to rejoining the Mets and being part of another World Series run,” Familia continued in his statement. “Out of respect for my teammates and my family, I will have no further comment.”
Mets third baseman Jose Reyes, then with the Rockies, received a 52-game suspension last season for violating the same policy. Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman served a 30- game suspension.
With Marc Carig and David Lennon
Players suspended under MLB’s domestic violence policy:
Player, Team Games
Hector Olivera, Braves 82
Jose Reyes, Rockies 52
Aroldis Chapman, Yankees 29
Jeurys Familia, Mets 15