One cloud of doubt and worry hovering over a few team’s heads is the pending suspension due to alleged domestic violence. This is true in regards to the New York Yankees with Aroldis Chapman, the Los Angeles Dodgers with Yasiel Puig and Jose Reyes on the Colorado Rockies.
Not all situations are the same, but when it comes to Chapman, who the Yankees recently traded for from the Cincinnati Reds and Puig, who is someone the Dodgers sometimes aren’t quite sure what to do with, it might be a demonstration of the league’s interpretation of the truth, as both of them haven’t been criminally charged and as far as the law is concerned, they haven’t done anything. As commissioner Rob Manfred stated, the standards of proof in a labor arbitration and a criminal case is very different. Right now all three players have open investigations pending.
This of course smells a bit too much of a power trip by a commissioner who has the ability to suspend and ban Chapman, for example from the entirety of spring training if he decides that’s the deserved punishment. Manfred might be a little bit fearful of the reaction Roger Goodell and the NFL received due to their mishandling of the Ray Rice case and other instances of Domestic violence allegations and are trying to act before things and criticism gets out of hand.
Chapman has said he will immediately appeal any disciplinary measures. If those do include a spring ban, he’ll be allowed to continue participating in team events until the appeal is processed. Things aren’t as clear in regards to Reyes and Puig, but of the three, it seems that Reyes, who was arrested for allegedly hitting his wife back in October 31, is going to be the one that receives the most severe punishment, no matter what the police and the courts decide.
Reyes, a four-time All-Star, was traded last season from the Toronto Blue Jays to the Colorado Rockies. He didn’t do too well on his new team, batting just a .259, on par for the lowest in his career, while hitting just three home runs in 47 appearances. Reyes played overall in just 116 games last season, and it’s been quite a while since he was one of the most exciting players to watch playing baseball for his speed and hitting, earning him a NL batting champion title in 2011.
Chapman has been one of the most courted players this offseason. A trade to the Dodgers collapsed and eventually the Yankees swooped in to add the closer, who has been the best in the majors over the last few years. He’s an All-Star the last four years, posting a 1.90 ERA since 2012 with a 0.958 WHIP and 16.1 strikeouts per nine innings, helping create what should be the best and hardest throwing bullpen in major league baseball.
Puig, 25, had a rough 2015, playing in just 2015 games. Unlike his first two years in the majors where he was a refreshing sensation, his numbers dropped in pretty much every category except for his home runs per game. The Dodgers have been contemplating trading him fearing that he may be headed in the wrong direction, but for now they’re keeping the immense talent close to home, hoping he and them won’t be hit too hard with a suspension.