Commissioner Rob Manfred’s office announced today that Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes, who has an April 4 trial set in connection with his offseason domestic violence allegations, has been placed on paid leave until his hearing has been resolved, at which point Commissioner Manfred will make a decision on potential disciplinary measures against Reyes (i.e. a suspension). The official release announcing the move reads as follows:
“Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. announced today that Colorado Rockies’ shortstop Jose Reyes has been placed on paid leave pending completion of his criminal proceedings in Hawaii, pursuant to Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. Section III.C.2 of the Policy permits the Commissioner to impose a paid suspension pending resolution of the legal proceedings or an investigation. Upon resolution of Reyes’ criminal proceedings and the completion of the Commissioner’s Office’s investigation into the incident, Commissioner Manfred will make a decision whether to impose discipline on Reyes. The Commissioner’s Office will have no further comment on this matter until a final disposition is announced.”
The administrative leave means that Reyes will miss the entirety of Spring Training with the Rockies and will not be with the club for the team’s opener on April 4 — the same day as his hearing. In mid-January, Reyes plead not guilty to charges alleging the assault of his wife at a Hawaii hotel on Oct. 31. If he’s found guilty in his hearing, it stands to reason that he’ll face a fairly weighty suspension under the domestic violence policy. The policy states that Manfred can issue discipline so long as there is “just cause,” which, as Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post recently noted, means that the criminal hearing will not necessarily be the sole deciding factor.
The Major League Baseball Players Association has also weighed in on the matter and issued a statement. Via the MLBPA’s press release:
“We are closely monitoring the proceedings in Hawaii, as well as the Commissioner’s actions under the Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. If further discipline is issued, or if Mr. Reyes’ paid suspension is not resolved in a timely fashion, the Players Association will work with Mr. Reyes to ensure that all of his rights under the Policy are protected. Pursuant to the confidentiality provisions of the Policy, the Players Association will have no further comment at this time.”
Reyes is one of three players facing potential discipline under the domestic violence policy, as both Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman and Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig are under investigation as well. However, neither Chapman nor Puig had charges filed against him, and as such, there’s no hearing set for either player (and, subsequently, no need for administrative leave). A decision from the Commissioner’s Office on those two cases is still pending.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported that Reyes would be placed on paid leave until his legal proceedings had been resolved (links to Twitter).
Same process to follow for Puig and Chapman?
Chapman isn’t being charged.
Same process, but my understanding is the commissioner is not obligated to place a player on administrative leave. That is at his discretion. Whether the player is charged with a crime makes no difference to the policy though certainly a pending trial could affect the timing and atmospherics.
It doesn’t make a difference in the outcome, but you can’t suspend a player until the outcome of a trial if there is no trial.
Ry, based on the agreed upon policy – manfred absolutely can and must place Reyes on administrative leave. Manfred does not have to wait out the outcome of any criminal proceeding (be it an arrest or a trial)
The policy says “may” not “shall.”
Sorry, I meant “put on administrative leave”, not suspend.
It’s not his discretion. If manfred wants to go forward with possible discipline, he must first place the player on admin leave. That is the first step of the agreed upon procedure.
It is his discretion whether or not he wants to impose discipline, but if he does – which he has shown the intent to do just that – admin leave is the first step.
From the policy: “The Commissioner may place a player accused of domestic violence, sexual assault or child abuse on paid Administrative Leave for up to seven days while the allegations are investigated before making a disciplinary decision.”
The key word here being “may.”
“May” isn’t the only key word, “While” and “before” are just as important. Read down two bullet points on the policy. The intent behind administrative leave is to facilitate the investigation. The investigation includes an in-person interview. If manfred wants to conduct an investigation, he must put him on admin leave (it really boils down to a procedure that provides the player with notice that an investigation is going to be conducted) so that the player can be available to facilitate the investigation.
Manfred does not have to conduct an investigation, he has the option – hence the use of “may”.
I noticed your hat avatar is no longer upside down…someone must be pleased with the Dodgers.
My reading of the thing is the commissioner has the option of placing the player on administrative leave if he decides to investigate.
Turned the hat back over when they re-signed Kendrick. Not really pleased with them, just not quite so frustrated.
I don’t know why Chapman wasn’t more desired the criminal charges are cleared, I think Manfred will give lengthy penalties when any criminal charges are laid, Reyes will miss the whole year , pig might get a small fine or punishment, same as Chapman although I think he wont
wait, the paid leave under the policy can only last for seven days? what happens if something like this happens during the season and a guy has a court date in 2 months?
Think I actually misinterpreted the information in that recap of the policy, as that’s in reference to the investigation of allegations (though that, of course, could also take well longer than seven days). I’m going to look into whether there’s any specific limitations on the length of the administrative leave. I’ve removed that portion for now..
Steve, it’s up to seven days of admin suspension. During that time mlb has the opportunity to conduct their own investigation, including an in person interview. (The site riveraveblues posted the mlb press release with the policy attached). Once those 7 days are up, manfred must make a decision concerning discipline. Once manfred imposes a form of discipline, the player can take an immediate appeal And have the matter heard by an arbitrator as per the cba. Manfred will have the burden of proof at arbitration and must demonstrate that there was “just cause” for the discipline imposed.
On a side note, under the new policy, the Reyes matter is a far better bell weather case than the chapman matter – at least from the mlb point of view. Reyes was arrested – which means at the very least there was probable cause, chapman was not, because there wasn’t enough there to even stretch for prob cause. (People may disagree with my analysis – blueskyla (I only picked you because we have bantered on this and I respect your opinion)- but it’s sound analysis). If Reyes goes to appeal/Arb the arbitrator isn’t faced with contradicting a district attorney, if chapman was the bell weather case, the arbitrator would have to not only contradict but also one up a district attorney. That just doesn’t happen.
I think he way it’s worded leaves the league open to issue suspensions if, say, there was enough evidence to go to trial but not enough to secure an actual conviction in criminal court. It happens quite often that a criminal case fails but a civil case succeeds because “reasonable doubt” and “preponderance of evidence” are very different thresholds.
For guys like Chapman or Puig, there wasn’t enough to do ANYTHING so it’s not likely they’ll get big suspensions.
Since he is on “paid leave” do the Rockies still pay his salary? If that’s the case then if I am the Rockies I would be pretty bummed about this. Is there some sort of insurance teams can rely upon for cases like these?
He’s only on paid leave until Manfred comes down with the actual suspension hammer. And players aren’t paid in Spring Training anyway. So really what it amounts to is he will get paid on Opening Day and for as long as it takes after that for Manfred to make up his mind, likely not long. Soon as Reyes is suspended, he’s no longer paid.