Aroldis Chapman

New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman has been suspended for 30 games due to a domestic violence allegation in October. The newly acquired pitcher decided to not appeal the suspension.

Chapman is the first player to be suspended under the new domestic violence policy agreed between the MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and the MLB Players Association. Chapman gave a statement on the suspension saying, “I want to be clear, I did not in any way harm my girlfriend that evening. However, I should have exercised better judgment with respect to certain actions, and for that I am sorry.” Chapman went on to say, “The decision to accept a suspension, as opposed to appealing one, was made after careful consideration. I made this decision in an effort to minimize the distractions that an appeal would cause the Yankees, my new teammates and most importantly, my family. I have learned from this matter, and I look forward to being part of the Yankees’ quest for a 28th World Series title. Out of respect for my teammates and my family, I will have no further comment.”

Although a suspension was handed down by the MLB, Chapman has not been charged due to lack of evidence. The case was closed, but is under suggestion for further review in the state of Florida where the alleged crime took place.

Aroldis Chapman is scheduled to hit free agency after the 2016 season, and with the suspension, there was early speculation before the announcement that if a suspension was given he would be ineligible to receive a max contract or be in free agency period. The MLB mandates that players must participate in the league six years to be an unrestricted free agent. The days and months of that service will be met even with Chapman’s suspension. Chapman will be able to participate in spring training but will not return to the Yankees bullpen until Monday, May 9th against the Kansas City Royals at home.

Of Aroldis Chapman’s $11 million dollar salary he will lose $1.8 million due to the suspension. With Chapman out of the picture until May, the Yankees will rely on last year’s closer Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances to work the 8th and 9th inning. During that time, Miller will be auditioning to keep that closer spot against Chapman, but with Chapman a proven winner at that position with 145 saves Miller will have a tough time convincing manager Joe Girardi of that case. Chapman’s saves are third-most in MLB since his debut in 2012. Miller has only 66 saves since his debut in 2006.

The Yankees will also miss having Chapman’s speed pitching. Chapman has clocked pitches at 100 MPH or higher during games, which is a rare in pitchers, more particularly that one pitcher can deliver it consistently alone. Chapman has thrown over 1,600 pitches at 100 MPH or more. That amazing statistic is recorded at over a 1000 times more than any pitcher in MLB.

Reaction from the Yankees clubhouse came from veteran Alex Rodriguez. “We need him,” said Rodriguez. “He’s a big part of our team, and I think the key in New York is you have to focus on the game, focus on your teammates, and I think he has a lot of support in that clubhouse.”

Dillon Davis-Tirado covers the New York Yankees and Major League Baseball for My Fantasy Sports Talk. Follow him on Twitter @thedavistirado for more coverage.

 

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