Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera will be suspended for the remainder of the season, the league has announced on the heels of a report from Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia (via Twitter). Commissioner Rob Manfred determined that Herrera violated the MLB-MLBPA joint domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse policy.
Criminal charges were brought against Herrera after his arrest in Atlantic City on May 28th. At the time, it was alleged that Herrera had caused visible injuries to the arms and neck of his 20-year-old girlfriend. Those charges were dropped recently because the alleged victim did not wish to pursue prosecution. The league policy vests authority in Manfred to find a violation of its terms regardless of the presence of formal legal action, successful or otherwise, by authorities.
Though Herrera has been on administrative leave since the end of May, the suspension will formally be leveled retroactive to June 24 and will run for 85 games in total. That will cost Herrera just over half of his $5MM salary this season. He’ll be precluded from participating in the postseason this year and also be required to participate in a treatment program.
Herrera has agreed not to appeal the determination. That’s a common stipulation reached in these matters, prior to the formal imposition of punishment. This suspension is one of the lengthiest yet to come down from Manfred’s office. Previously, Jose Torres (100 games), Hector Olivera (82 games), and Roberto Osuna (75 games) were among those to have the dubious distinction of being hit with penalties of similar magnitude.
The Phillies have released a statement on the matter, saying that the organization supports the suspension and is “encouraged by Odubel’s acceptance of his discipline as an indication of his willingness to learn from this and change his behavior appropriately.” The Philadelphia organization owes him $7MM next year, $10MM for 2021, and $3.5MM in total buyouts for a pair of ensuing club options.
Herrera issued his own statement via the MLBPA (Twitter link). He acknowledged “inappropriate behavior” but did not specify what that constituted. Herrera further states: “I acted in an unacceptable manner and am terribly disappointed in myself. I alone am to blame for my actions. I’ve taken meaningful steps to assure that nothing like this will ever happen again.”