Germán releases statement on return to club

February 22nd, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. -- Domingo Germán plans to address his Yankees teammates about the September 2019 incident that prompted an 81-game suspension under Major League Baseball's policy against domestic violence, costing the right-hander the entire 2020 season.

Germán was scheduled to speak with the media via Zoom on Saturday, which would have marked his first public comments since MLB imposed his suspension. Instead, Germán delayed that appearance, releasing a statement via the club's media relations department.

"It is important to me that I have the opportunity to speak directly with my teammates, both individually and collectively, and address them face-to-face before I speak to the media and our fans," Germán said. "This process has begun, but more time is needed, especially since half our team has yet to report to Spring Training. I recognize that speaking publicly will be an important step for me and I will do so in the upcoming days."

Germán's statement came after The Athletic, citing multiple sources, published new details of the incident that led to his suspension. Yankees manager Aaron Boone previously said that he did not believe Germán needed to speak to the team. Boone said he has been focusing more on Germán's situation since comments made this week by reliever Zack Britton, who told reporters on Feb. 18, "Sometimes you don't get to control who your teammates are. I don't agree with what [Germán] did. I don't think it has any place in the game or off the field or at all."

Asked if he attempted to take the clubhouse temperature on Germán's re-entry before pitchers and catchers reported to camp, Boone replied: "Probably not as well as I should have beforehand."

Boone said that he supports Germán's willingness to speak to the team.

"I think it's really important for him to get there,” Boone said. “I know he's already started the process, having individual conversations with a number of players."

Left-hander Aroldis Chapman, who served a 30-game domestic violence suspension following an October 2015 incident at his Davie, Fla., home, said that he had a lengthy conversation with Germán on Saturday regarding his situation. Chapman said that he advised Germán to speak to his teammates before addressing the media.

"He's been keeping to himself a little more than usual, and that's understandable," Chapman said through an interpreter.

Germán, 28, has not pitched in a Major League game since Sept. 18, 2019. A contender to re-join the rotation, Germán led the 2019 Yankees with 18 victories. He owns a 20-11 record and 4.52 ERA in 55 games (38 starts) with New York from 2017-19.

"The proof is going to be in the behavior and how he lives his life," Boone said. "You can say all the right things, and he was in a place to be able to come back to camp. Now he's got to earn his place back on this team, not only between the lines but also in the way he lives out his life."