Reyes placed on leave with status in limbo

February 23rd, 2016

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on Tuesday placed Jose Reyes on paid leave while the Rockies shortstop's offseason domestic violence case is still pending, both in the legal system and with the league, which could impose discipline of this type before the criminal proceeding runs its course.

Reyes was arrested on Oct. 31 in Maui, Hawaii, after an alleged incident at a luxury hotel in which he was accused of abusing his wife. The case is scheduled for trial in Hawaii on April 4, Opening Day for the Rockies.

The move is covered under the joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy instituted by MLB and the MLB Players Association last year. MLB issued the following statement:

"Section III.C.2 of the Policy permits the Commissioner to impose a paid suspension pending resolution of the legal proceedings or an investigation.

"Upon resolution of Reyes' criminal proceedings and the completion of the Commissioner's Office's investigation into the incident, Commissioner Manfred will make a decision whether to impose discipline on Reyes. The Commissioner's Office will have no further comment on this matter until a final disposition is announced."

The league's announcement came the day Rockies position players were scheduled to report to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick for Spring Training.

The MLB Players Association released a statement following MLB's announcement.

"We are closely monitoring the proceedings in Hawaii, as well as the Commissioner's actions under the Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy," the statement read. "If further discipline is issued, or if Mr. Reyes' paid suspension is not resolved in a timely fashion, the Players Association will work with Mr. Reyes to ensure that all of his rights under the Policy are protected. Pursuant to the confidentiality provisions of the Policy, the Players Association will have no further comment at this time."

Under the policy, players have the right to challenge any ruling via arbitration.

Since the arrest and MLB's announcement that it would investigate the matter, the Rockies have kept a hands-off approach regarding Reyes' case. There were reports on Monday that the club and Reyes had discussed the possibility of him not reporting to camp, but the Rockies denied those reports and said they would be leaving any action up to MLB.

Reyes' domestic violence case is one of three that Manfred is investigating. Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman was the subject of an incident during the offseason, but police declined to file charges. Separately, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was accused of an assault but also avoided charges.

The joint policy allows Manfred to act without legal resolution. However, before Tuesday, the league had declined to take action while the investigation in Maui continues. During Monday's Cactus League Media Day news conference in Phoenix, Manfred -- not mentioning Reyes' case specifically -- said, "You cannot expect a district attorney or other law enforcement official to provide information on a timetable other than what makes sense for him or her responsibly. We are always going to have this issue of being at the mercy of others when we are dealing with these sorts of issues."

MLB has not set a timetable for Manfred's decision on Reyes. In addition to a suspension, Manfred can order services such as counseling.

The Rockies head into camp with an open competition for the shortstop position.