TAMPA, Fla. (CBSNewYork) – There are still a lot of mysteries involving Aroldis Chapman’s debut season with the Yankees.
Will he be suspended under the league’s new domestic violence policy? If so, how many games? And when might the potential punishment be handed down?
Chapman arrived at spring training in Tampa on Thursday and vowed to quickly appeal if Major League Baseball does suspend him.
What we do know is Chapman won’t face criminal charges. Authorities in Florida concluded last month there was not sufficient evidence to charge the flame-throwing lefty in the Oct. 30 incident.
According to a police report, Chapman’s girlfriend, 22-year-old Cristina Barnea, told police the pitcher pushed and choked her at his home.
Chapman, 27, was not arrested because police reportedly determined there were inconsistencies in accounts about what had happened and they did not see any marks around his girlfriend’s neck. Barnea later told prosecutors she didn’t recall saying Chapman had hit her.
Prosecutors also said if Chapman did fire his gun, he did not violate any Florida laws because he did it on private property and no one was injured by the shots
Chapman said he met with Major League Baseball investigators during the offseason to discuss the incident. He added that he, too, is in the dark about how long a possible suspension might be.
The Yankees acquired Chapman on Dec. 28 from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for minor league right-handers Caleb Cotham and Rookie Davis and infielders Eric Jagielo and Tony Renda.
Chapman became available after the Reds’ deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers fell through when the accusations came to light.
He will team with Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances to create what is expected to be one of the most dynamic bullpens in baseball in 2016.
Chapman, who has recorded 145 saves over the past four seasons and has a 104 mph fastball, was quickly named the Yankees’ closer by manager Joe Girardi.
“I wasn’t thinking closer,” Chapman said Thursday through an interpreter, the New York Post reported. “My focus was help the team to win. When it was announced by Joe, I felt really happy.”