Major League Baseball has suspended Mets closer Jeurys Familia for 15 games under the league’s domestic violence policy. Commissioner Rob Manfred released the following statement on Wednesday regarding the discipline:  

“My office has completed its investigation into the events leading up to Jeurys Familia’s arrest on October 31, 2016.  Mr. Familia and his wife cooperated fully throughout the investigation, including submitting to in-person interviews with MLB’s Department of Investigations.  My office also received cooperation from the Fort Lee Municipal Prosecutor.  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.  

“It is clear that Mr. Familia regrets what transpired that night and takes full responsibility for his actions.  Mr. Familia already has undergone 12 ninety-minute counseling sessions with an approved counselor specializing in the area of domestic violence, and received a favorable evaluation from the counselor regarding his willingness to take concrete steps to ensure that he is not involved in another incident of this type.  Further, he has agreed to speak to other players about what he has learned through this process, and to donate time and money to local organizations aimed at the prevention of, and the treatment of victims of, domestic violence.”

Familia was arrested at his Fort Lee, New Jersey, home on Oct. 31 and charged with simple assault after police found reason “to believe that domestic violence had occurred.” The victim, Familia’s wife Bianca Rivas, asked for the charge to be dropped last month because she does not fear for her safety. The case against Familia was later dismissed by a judge. Under baseball’s policy, however, Manfred has the power to discipline players regardless of legal-system outcomes.  

Via Fox’s Ken Rosenthal, here is Familia’s statement pursuant to the ruling:

MLB announces Familia's 15-game suspension. Statement from Familia: Today, I accepted a 15-game suspension from Major...

Posted by Ken Rosenthal on Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Familia and the Major League Baseball Players Association have the right to appeal Manfred’s ruling through arbitration, but the pitcher’s statement suggests that will not happen. 

Now for some key takeaways ... 

1. MLB found no evidence that Familia touched or threatened his wife

As Manfred indicates in his statement, MLB found no evidence that any physical assault occurred. Rather, Familia was suspended for “inappropriate” conduct on the night in question. Also worth noting ... 

Also, here are some further pertinent details on Familia’s case from Billy Witz of the New York Times

Rivas and Familia have cooperated with the police and baseball investigators, according to the person familiar with the case. Arthur Balsamo, the prosecutor in the criminal case, who was also interviewed by baseball investigators, reiterated what he had told a municipal court judge in asking for a dismissal: that Rivas said the scratches on her chest were made by their 1-year-old son and that the marks on her cheek came from resting her hand on her face while lying down.

But according to a redacted version of the arrest report, which was obtained by The New York Times, Familia, who is 6 feet 4 inches and 250 pounds, admitted damaging a bedroom door, which the arresting officer said Familia “had shouldered” out of frustration. Rivas told the police that two knives found on the floor of the bathroom had been used by Familia to wedge the door shut when he barricaded himself there after an argument.

2. Familia’s case is different from Aroldis Chapman’s

Given that Aroldis Chapman, closer for the crosstown Yankees, was was suspended last year for 30 games under the same policy, comparisons are inevitable, and some might be wondering why Chapman faced a stiffer punishment. On that point, here’s this:

As noted, Manfred has plenty of latitude in determining the punishments he’ll pursue. 

3. Familia will be losing money during his suspension

These disciplinary suspensions are unpaid, and Familia is reportedly looking at forfeiting 18 days of salary (more if rainouts are involved). He’s arbitration-eligible and under contract for $7.425 million for 2017. That means he’ll forfeit a little less than $750,000 during the course of his suspension. 

4. During Familia’s absence, Addison Reed is likely to fill in as Mets closer

Familia, 27, last season pitched to a 161 ERA+ and a 2.71 K/BB ratio in 77 2/3 innings. For his career, he owns an ERA+ of 154. While Familia is serving his suspension, Addison Reed will likely get the save opportunities for the Mets. Reed, 28, has a 116 ERA+ for his career, but he has been on another level since joining the Mets during the 2015 season and tightening up his slider. With New York, Reed has authored an ERA of 1.84 and a K/BB ratio of 6.00. Consider him one of the best setup men in baseball and easily a strong candidate to fill in for Familia. 

5. As for the fantasy implications of the Familia suspension ... 

Our own Scott White says: “Fifteen games, that puts him coming back part of the way through Week 3. Maybe you sit him for the first three weeks just to be safe, but it’s pretty clear you can draft him to be your No. 1 closer in fantasy still.”