New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman says he would appeal if he is suspended by Major League Baseball under the sport’s new domestic violence policy.
Florida prosecutors decided not to file charges against 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 conflicting accounts and insufficient evidence made a conviction unlikely.
Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said he hopes to have a decision by opening day.
“It’s something out of my hands,” Chapman said through a translator after Yankees pitchers and catchers reported Thursday for spring training. “It’s something I can’t really talk about. We’ve got to wait to see what happens.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi has not yet read the police report but said he plans to.
“The most important thing is me getting to know him more than the report,” Girardi said. “I know it’s very serious and we’ll take it very serious. I want to get to know him before I really form an opinion of his character.”
MLB is also investigating Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig and Colorado Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes.
Under the agreement last August between MLB and the players’ association, discipline is not dependent on a criminal conviction.
Following the acquisition of Chapman from Cincinnati in December, Andrew Miller is moving from closer to a setup role alongside Dellin Betances.
“The fact that we have three arms the caliber of the three arms we have, it’s awesome,” Chapman said.
Chapman threw the 62 fastest pitches in the major leagues last season, ranging from 103.92 to 102.36 mph.
“The crowd at Yankee Stadium is going to wait instead of leaving early to beat traffic,” Betances said. “They’re going to stay and wait to see 102, 103, 104 and I think he’s gotten it to 105 (mph). It’s going to be very exciting.”
Chapman is scheduled to throw off a mound Saturday.
The world champion Royals signed GM Dayton Moore and MGR Ned Yost to extensions, ensuring the leadership of the World Series champions will remain intact.
... The Royals agreed to minor league contracts with IF Clint Barmes, LHP Brian Duensing and RHP Ross Ohlendorf on Thursday, giving each an opportunity to compete for a roster spot during spring training.
... Reliever Ryan Webb agreed to a one-year contract with the Rays, a move team officials hope bolsters their bullpen. They placed RHP Chase Whitley on the 60-day disabled list. He is recovering from Tommy John surgery in May.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said three-time NL MVP Albert Pujols is doing some swinging, but still faces a long recovery following November surgery on his right foot. Scioscia says team doctors expect Pujols won’t be ready for the April 4 opener against the Cubs, although Scioscia wouldn’t completely rule it out. Free-agent pickup Daniel Nava is a candidate to play first base if Pujols starts the season on the disabled list.
Around the horn
The Rockies claimed C Tony Wolters off waivers from the Indians. They transferred RHP Adam Ottavino to the 60-day disabled list.