Mets closer Jeurys Familia was suspended for 15 games Wednesday for a domestic incident with his wife in which charges were later dropped.
The 27-year-old Familia was arrested Oct. 31 in his New Jersey home after Bianca Rivas claimed to police he was drunk and violent, and, upon arrival, police reported they saw signs of injuries on her. In December, Rivas chose not to pursue the charges, and in a statement announcing the suspension, MLB said: “The evidence reviewed by my office does not support a determination that Mr. Familia physically assaulted his wife, or threatened her or others with physical force or harm, on October 31, 2016. Nevertheless, I have concluded that Mr. Familia’s overall conduct that night was inappropriate, violated the Policy, and warrants discipline.”
Familia’s suspension is the shortest since MLB implemented a domestic-violence policy in the winter of 2015. Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman received a 30-game suspension for firing a gun and allegedly choking his girlfriend, Mets infielder Jose Reyes got 52 games for allegedly abusing his wife at a Hawaiian resort and Hector Olivera was given 82 games for assaulting a woman.
The length of the suspension is hugely beneficial for Familia, who could have seen his free agency delayed by a year with a suspension longer than a month. Instead, he’ll be back in just over two weeks and rejoin the Mets, for whom he has dominated the last three years, putting up a 2.20 ERA with 243 strikeouts in 233 innings and 99 saves.
During Familia’s suspension, Addison Reed, the standout setup man, is expected to close for the Mets.
Familia released a statement regarding Wednesday’s suspension:
“Today, I accepted a 15-game suspension from Major League Baseball resulting from my inappropriate behavior on October 31, 2016. With all that has been written and discussed regarding this matter, it is important that it be known that I never physically touched, harmed or threatened my wife that evening. I did, however, act in an unacceptable manner and am terribly disappointed in myself. I am alone to blame for the problems of that evening.
My wife and I cooperated fully with Major League Baseball’s investigation, and I’ve taken meaningful steps to assure that nothing like this will ever happen again. I have learned from this experience, and have grown as a husband, a father, and a man.
I apologize to the Mets’ organization, my teammates, and all my fans. I look forward to rejoining the Mets and being part of another World Series run. Out of respect for my teammates and my family, I will have no further comment.”
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