Commissioner Rob Manfred is expected to make an announcement this week in the first cases involving Major League Baseball’s new domestic violence policy.
Baseball is investigating three players — Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes and Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig.
Manfred said “additional progress” had been made in the decisions with two of the players, although he wouldn’t identify which two.
Chapman is under investigation for an incident at his house in Florida in October involving his girlfriend. He is alleged to have fired a gun. Reyes allegedly assaulted his wife on Halloween in a Hawaii hotel, while Puig was is alleged to have pushed his sister prior to fighting with a bouncer at a Miami bar.
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Major League Baseball and its players’ association announced in August that the commissioner’s office was empowered to discipline players for matters of domestic assault, regardless of whether they’ve been charged with crimes.
“I am giving really thorough consideration to the cases that I have in front of me and thinking their relevance obviously to the individual players, the individual facts most important, but also with an eye toward starting something new,” Manfred said. “It’s important to try to get these as right as possible.”
Manfred hit on other topics while visiting Catcus League media day on Monday.
▪ He said the Rays likely will play a March exhibition game in Cuba. If that happens, it will be the first appearance by a major-league team in Cuba since 1999, when the Orioles met the Cuban national team in Havana.
Also, Manfred said he was interested in baseball playing a regular-season game in London.
▪ There is no timeline for expansion, but Manfred eventually sees 16 teams in each league. “It’s appealing for a couple of reasons,” he said. “Our game is a growth business. And from a practical perspective I learned a long time ago from people who understand scheduling more than I do that fours work better than fives, with nice even numbers in each league.”
Among speculated targets: Montreal; San Antonio, Texas; Charlotte, N.C.; Las Vegas; Mexico City; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.