TODAY: There’s another potential wrinkle, per Jon Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter links): Chapman needs 138 days of service next year to reach the six seasons required for free agency. It’s at least hypothetically plausible that he could fall shy if he faced a lengthy suspension.
Rosenthal also details the league’s plans for the investigation, which will include an interview with Chapman, and the difficult questions that the commissioner’s office will face in assessing the matter.
Meanwhile, the prospective trade of Chapman to the Dodgers is not on hold due to any investigatory action by the league, Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports (Twitter links). Los Angeles is “undecided” on how to handle the possible transaction, he adds.
YESTERDAY, 11:42pm: A team that had contact with Cincinnati was left with the impression that Chapman “might have injured a hand” in the incident in question, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. Obviously, it’s hard to judge the level of concern with that information without knowing which hand and what might have occurred, but the news adds to an already-stunning turn of events.
10:32pm: The Red Sox were in talks on Chapman in November before learning about the incident through a background check, Alex Speier of the Boston Globe reports. Boston was exploring deals for both Chapman and Craig Kimbrel at the time, says Speier, and turned its attention exclusively toward the latter after finding out about the allegations.
10:10pm: C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer has Jocketty’s full quote, on Twitter: “We’ve talked to several clubs. I notified all of them tonight that we’d step back a couple of weeks or whatever it takes.”
9:28pm: Reds president of baseball operations Walt Jocketty says that a trade of Chapman may be delayed by several weeks, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon tweets. That’s certainly far from the most important element of this story, of course. But a delay in completing a transaction also seems to represent only the minimum potential impact on Chapman’s marketability.
For one thing, any club would obviously want to know if a player being acquired will face disciplinary action. Notably, we’ve yet to hear anything on the situation of Reyes, whose arrest was reported about a month ago, suggesting that the process won’t be swift.
Quite apart from any suspension or fine, moreover, the disturbing report could well come with broader ramifications for Chapman’s future if the alleged facts are supported by the investigation. And that’s probably true whether or not he is ultimately charged in relation to the incident.
8:54pm: Reds closer Aroldis Chapman was allegedly involved in a serious domestic dispute in late October, Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown and Jeff Passan report. The outlet says that it obtained police records relating to the matter.
According to those reports, says Yahoo, Chapman’s girlfriend told investigating officers that he “choked” her and pushed her against a wall. Chapman is also alleged to have discharged a handgun into the garage of his home.
There were no arrests in the incident. Chapmans attorney, Jay Reisinger, said in a statement to Yahoo that he and his client “vehemently deny the allegations as stated.”
The incident is the reason that a reported trade this morning to the Dodgers has been held up, according to Yahoo. Cincinnati has been aware of the matter “for some time,” Passan adds in an interview on MLB Network Radio (Twitter link). Major league baseball will investigate the matter, Brown and Passan further report.
An investigation obviously appears to be warranted under the new domestic violence protocol put in place between the league and the player’s association. Commissioner Rob Manfred can issue any punishment deemed appropriate “in light of the severity of the conduct,” after an investigation. Notably, neither criminal conviction nor a guilty plea are required to support the imposition of discipline.
The commissioner’s office is said already to be investigating fellow high-profile players Jose Reyes and Yasiel Puig under the domestic violence policy.