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.