New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia’s simple assault charge has officially been dropped. What could this mean for his 2017 eligibility?
In Fort Lee, NJ, a judge has granted the dropping of a simple assault charge against New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia. Bianca Rivas, Familia’s wife and the victim in the case, requested the charges to be dropped by the court.
Here are images from Jeurys Familia arriving at court with his wife and in court with attorneys and judge. The case was dismissed. pic.twitter.com/7rtyRh5K2C
— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) December 15, 2016
Rivas and her attorney had previously met with Fort Lee prosecutor Arthur Balsamo, who recommended to Judge John DeSheplo that the charges be dismissed. DeSheplo even took matters a step further and expunged Familia’s record of the charge.
Familia was arrested on Halloween after police received multiple frantic calls from Rivas that her husband was drunk and “going crazy.” When officers arrived at their home, she had been scratched and bruised, giving authorities enough evidence to take Familia away in handcuffs.
But Rivas has long been steadfast that the injuries police found that night were actually caused by their 1-year-old son and by pressing on her own head.
When asked about two knives found on the floor of their home, Rivas told authorities that Familia had used them to wedge the door of a bathroom shut following an argument.
“I’m happy the case is resolved,” said Familia’s defense attorney, Paul Brickfield.
Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said after the arrest that because the legal proceedings would take place during the offseason, the league felt comfortable waiting for the court’s decision before deciding on a possible suspension for the 2016 All-Star.
There have been some domestic violence cases that have set a precedent by the league since Manfred has taken over.
Familia’s teammate, Jose Reyes, received a 52-game suspension to open 2016 while with the Colorado Rockies. Reyes’ wife refused to work with prosecutors, resulting in his charges being dropped, but the suspension still followed.
New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman received a 30-game suspension after his trade to the Bronx from the Cincinnati Reds. Chapman never faced charges at all, after authorities decided there was not enough evidence to do so. But again, the suspension was still given.
Because Familia’s situation resides somewhere in between those two cases, it seems reasonable that his suspension will follow the same pattern.
In the likelihood that he is in fact suspended, setup man Addison Reed figures to hold down the closing job following a 2016 season that saw him post a 1.97 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 77.2 innings pitched.
Who’ll fill the setup role in that case is unclear right now with free agency still open, but it would appear Hansel Robles will be slotted in there.