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Odubel Herrera suspended for remainder of 2019 season, won’t appeal

Odubel Herrera has been suspended. (Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera’s court case for simple assault of his girlfriend was dismissed Wednesday morning, after his girlfriend elected not to press charges. That didn’t, however, keep him from facing a stiff penalty from major league baseball.

Major League Baseball announced Friday evening that Herrera has been suspended without pay for the remainder of the 2019 season. Per the commissioner’s office, the 27-year-old will not appeal his suspension.

“The Phillies fully support the decision by the Commissioner’s Office to suspend Odubel Herrera for violating MLB’s Joint Domestic Violence Policy,” the Phillies said in a press release. “All instances of domestic violence and abuse are abhorrent and unacceptable, and we unequivocally support baseball’s collective efforts to prevent domestic abuse. We are encouraged by Odubel’s acceptance of his discipline as an indication of his willingness to learn from this and change his behavior appropriately.”

Herrera, who was an All-Star for the Phillies in 2016, was arrested on Memorial Day in Atlantic City after a domestic incident took place between him and his 20-year-old girlfriend. The most notable portion of the police report alleged that “the victim had visible signs of injury to her arms and neck.”

“Today, I accepted a suspension from Major League Baseball resulting from my inappropriate behavior,” Herrera said in his first statement since his arrest. “I have acted in an unacceptable manner and am terribly disappointed in myself. I alone am to blame for my actions. I have taken meaningful steps to assure nothing like this will ever happen again. I have learned from this experience, and I have grown as a person. I apologize to the Phillies organization, my teammates and all my fans. I look forward to rejoining the Phillies once my suspension is served and continuing to work on being a better partner, teammate and person.”

While on administrative leave, Herrera had continued to collect the $5 million salary that he was owed in 2019. As part of his suspension – which officially was deemed as an 85-game suspension – he won’t be paid for more than half the season. He also wouldn’t be eligible to return to the Phillies if they reached the playoffs.

Since Herrera’s arrest, the Phillies made sure he did not appear on the 2019 MLB All-Star ballot and removed any signs pertaining to him around Citizens Bank Park. That’s led many to think that Herrera likely won’t play another game with the Phillies. The issue, as Meghan Montemurro noted in The Athletic, is that MLB has already punished Herrera. To move on from Herrera after said suspension would seemingly be punishing him twice, which, right or wrong, the player’s association will likely take issue with. It will be interesting to see if that backs the Phillies into giving Herrera a second chance, or they attempt to negotiate a buyout of sorts with Herrera’s representatives.

A 2014 Rule-5 Draft selection, Herrera is owed $7 million in 2020 and $10 million in 2021 as part of a five-year/$30.5 million extension he signed ahead of the 2017 season. Herrera’s deal also features an $11.5 million club option for 2022 and a $12.5 million club option for 2023. The club options have buyouts of $2.5 million and $1 million respectively.

In his fifth major league season, Herrera was slashing .222/.288/.341 with one home run and 16 RBIs. This came after he posted just a .622 OPS after the All-Star Break in 2018.


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