By Sam Bush
Major League Baseball has suspended Phillies outfielder Odúbel Herrera for the rest of the season for violating MLB’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy.
Herrera won’t appeal the decision, according to MLB.
His unpaid suspension will be retroactive to June 24 and will cover 85 regular-season games and any postseason games that his club might play in 2019.
“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,” commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement issued Friday.
On Wednesday, domestic violence charges against Herrera were dropped following a hearing at Atlantic City (New Jersey) Municipal Court.
A state prosecutor told reporters that Herrera’s girlfriend did not want to proceed with the case, leading to the decision to dismiss.
“Today, I accepted a suspension from Major League Baseball resulting from my inappropriate behavior,” Herrera said in a 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 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 to continuing to work on being a better partner, teammate and person.”
Herrera was ordered by the court to complete counseling within 60 days as a condition of the dismissal of the charges.
Herrera had been accused of domestic assault against his girlfriend May 27 at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. Officers said they found the 20-year-old woman with “visible signs of injury to her arms and neck that was sustained after being assaulted by her boyfriend.”
Herrera, 27, had been facing charges of simple assault and knowingly causing bodily injury.
Following the arrest, Herrera was placed on administrative leave by MLB. He has not played for the Phillies since May 26.
“The Phillies fully support the decision by the Commissioner’s Office to suspend Odubel Herrera for violating MLB’s Joint Domestic Violence Policy,” the team said in a statement. “All instances of domestic violence are abhorrent and unacceptable, and we unequivocally support Baseball’s collective efforts to prevent domestic abuse. We are encouraged by Odubel’s acceptance of his discipline as an indication of his willingness to learn from this and change his behavior.”
Herrera will lose $2,634,409 of his $5 million salary, the amount due over the final 98 days of the 186-day regular season.
He is in the third year of a $30.5 million, five-year contract and is due to make $7 million next season and $10 million in 2021. Philadelphia has club options for 2022 and ’23.
An All-Star center fielder in 2016, Herrera hit .222 with one home run and 16 RBIs in 39 games this season. He missed time in April with a hamstring injury.
Since MLB’s domestic violence policy was instituted in 2016, suspension lengths have varied widely. San Diego Padres pitcher Jose Torres has the longest one at 100 games, while it has been as low as 15 games for Jeurys Familia (2016) and Steven Wright (2018).