Updated: 8:01 p.m.
NEW YORK — Major League Baseball has suspended Phillies’ outfielder Odubel Herrera for the remainder of this season for violating the league’s policy against domestic abuse.
The suspension, announced Friday night, is for 85 games. It is retroactive to June 24. Herrera, making $5.3 million this season, will not be paid during the suspension. He has agreed not to appeal the suspension and will participate in a confidential and comprehensive evaluation and treatment program supervised by a joint policy board for MLB and the Players Association.
Herrera was charged with assaulting his girlfriend at an Atlantic City hotel on May 27. His girlfriend chose not to press charges and the case was dismissed by a New Jersey court earlier this week.
But MLB, as part of a joint agreement with the Players Association that covers matters of domestic, sexual and child abuse, still had the right to conduct its own investigation and levy punishment. The 85-game ban is the second-longest handed down since MLB and the Players Association agreed to the policy before the 2016 season. Jose Torres of the San Diego Padres received a 100-game ban in June 2018.
“My office has completed its investigation into the allegations that Odúbel Herrera violated Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy,” commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement Friday night. “Having reviewed all of the available evidence, I have concluded that Mr. Herrera violated the Policy and should be subject to discipline in the form of an unpaid suspension that will cover the remainder of the 2019 season.”
In a statement, the Phillies supported the commissioner’s action.
“All instances of domestic violence and abuse are abhorrent and unacceptable, and we unequivocally support Baseball’s collective efforts to prevent domestic abuse,” the statement said. “We are encouraged by Odubel’s acceptance of his discipline as an indication of his willingness to learn from this and change his behavior appropriately.”
The Players Association released a statement Friday night on behalf of Herrera.
"Today, I accepted a suspension from Major League Baseball resulting from my inappropriate behavior," Herrera said in the statement. "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 to assure that nothing like this will ever happen again. I have learned from this experience, and I have grown as a person. I apologize to the Phillies’ organization, my teammates and all my fans. I look forward to rejoining the Phillies once my suspension is served and continuing to work on being a better partner, teammate, and person."
Herrera has not played for the Phillies since May 26. He was placed on administrative leave after the incident occurred May 27.
The 27-year-old from Venezuela is owed about $23.7 million through 2021. His contract cannot be voided, as part of the joint agreement between MLB and the Players Association. Releasing Herrera would require his approval and a negotiated settlement of the monies owed him, as per the joint agreement. The length of the suspension allows the team plenty of time to determine how it will proceed with Herrera. He could return next season, negotiate a release or be traded.
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