Criminal charges against Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera were dropped this morning, Megan Montemurro of The Athletic reports on Twitter. Herrera had been facing a count of simple assault relating to a domestic violence incident in Atlantic City, New Jersey. His girlfriend, the alleged victim, did not wish to proceed with prosecution.
This news seems to bring an end to the legal jeopardy for Herrera, who was alleged to have struck his girlfriend in such a manner that she “had visible signs of injury to her arms and neck.” He will be required to undergo sixty days of counseling, per Amy Rosenberg of the Philadelphia Inquirer (via Twitter).
That does not necessarily mean that he will be able to resume his playing career right away. Herrera has been on paid administrative leave since the 28th of May, the day after his arrest, a period covering 34 of the team’s games (including today’s scheduled contest). The leave period has been extended several times, most recently through this coming Friday, as Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer noted on Twitter.
When Herrera will be reinstated remains to be seen. Commissioner Rob Manfred could yet issue a suspension pursuant to the MLB-MLBPA Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. His authority to do so is not dependent upon whether or not criminal charges are pursued (and, if so, whether a player is convicted). Should Manfred issue a suspension, Herrera’s time on administrative leave would be counted as time served, but he would be required to sacrifice his earnings for the entire period.
It is also unclear at this point how Herrera will be handled by the Philadelphia organization. He is owed a total of $5MM this year, with another $20.5MM remaining thereafter on the extension he signed in December of 2016. The contract runs through 2021 and includes a pair of club options.
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