Aroldis Chapman won't face domestic abuse charges
Yankees' closer allegedly choked girlfriend in October
Florida prosecutors have decided not to file charges against New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, whose girlfriend told officers he pushed her, put his hands around her neck and choked her during an argument in October.
Broward Assistant State Attorney Stefanie Newman wrote in a close-out memo Wednesday that conflicting accounts and insufficient evidence made a conviction unlikely.
In early December, Yahoo Sports reported more than a dozen police officers responded to Chapman's home in Florida on Oct. 30. No arrests were made due to conflicting stories and a lack of co-operation, according to the report by the website.
During the 2015 season, the 27-year-old left-hander threw the 62 fastest pitches in the major leagues, ranging from 103.92 miles per hour to 102.36 mph, according to Major League Baseball's Statcast computer system.
Chapman, an all-star in each of the last four seasons, was traded by Cincinnati to the Yankees in late December for right-handers Caleb Cotham and Rookie Davis and infielders Eric Jagielo and Tony Renda.
After defecting from Cuba in 2009, Chapman spent the last six seasons with the Reds and saved 146 games in 164 chances. He had a 1.63 earned-run average last season, when he struck out 116 in 66 1/3 innings.
I would love to have these resolved before we begin play again.- MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on investigations involving the Dodgers' Yasiel Puig, Rockies' Jose Reyes and Yankees' Aroldis Chapman
Major League Baseball still is unsure when it will complete investigations of Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, Colorado Rockies shortstop and former Toronto Blue Jay Jose Reyes, along with Chapman under the sport's new domestic violence policy.
Under the agreement last August between MLB and the players' association, discipline is not dependent on a criminal conviction. But baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday that legal probes impact baseball's inquiry.
"I would love to have these resolved before we begin play again," Manfred said. "The one thing I've learned about these cases is timing is not mine, right? You have to really rely on the criminal process playing out in order to put yourself in a position that you're comfortable to actually know what the facts are."
Players may be disciplined for "just cause," the same standard used under the sport's collective bargaining agreement. Discipline can be appealed to baseball's independent arbitrator.
"When you have a new policy, the first ones take on a special significance in terms of tone and precedent and all those things," Manfred said. "So I'm going to make sure that I know everything I could possibly know about each of these cases before I make any decisions."
Puig sustained a swollen eye and facial bruises during a fight with a bouncer in Miami in November.
Reyes was released after posting $1,000 US bail and issued a warning citation to have no contact with his wife for three days after he was arrested Oct. 31 at a resort in Hawaii. He pleaded not guilty to a charge of abuse of a family or household member.