Domestic battery arrest of Dodgers’ Julio Urias could trigger suspension

Dodgers' Julio Urias pitches against the San Francisco Giants on April 1 at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers’ Julio Urias pitches against the San Francisco Giants on April 1 at Dodger Stadium.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
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The arrest of Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias on suspicion of domestic battery could trigger a suspension from Major League Baseball and may jeopardize his future with the Dodgers.

Urias, 22, was arrested Monday evening after an incident at the Beverly Center shopping mall, and released on a $20,000 bond about four hours later. A Los Angeles police spokesperson was unable to provide The Times with more information about the incident or the condition of the alleged victim.

With the arrest, Urias could face punishment if the office of MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred determines he violated the sport’s domestic violence policy. Urias is likely to be placed on administrative leave as early as Tuesday. The length of the leave can last up to seven days, but can be extended at the discretion of the commissioner’s office, according to baseball’s collective bargaining agreement.


“We are aware of the incident and are in the process of gathering the facts,” Major League Baseball said in a statement issued Tuesday morning.

The length of any suspension would be determined by Manfred’s office, through collectively bargained negotiations with the MLBPA. Roberto Osuna, then a reliever for the Toronto Blue Jays, received a 75-game suspension last summer after an arrest on suspicion of assault. Chicago Cubs infielder Addison Russell received a 40-game penalty last fall after allegations of physical and emotional abuse from his ex-wife. Boston Red Sox reliever Steven Wright served a 15-game suspension last spring after an arrest on misdemeanor charges of domestic assault and preventing a 911 call.

The investigation may take weeks. Osuna was placed on administrative leave May 8, 2018. MLB announced its suspension June 22.

An investigation does not guarantee punishment. Yasiel Puig was investigated after being involved in a Miami bar fight in November 2015, but MLB ruled Puig did not violate the domestic violence policy. Puig was not arrested in the initial incident.

Under the leadership of owner Mark Walter and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers have attempted to avoid employing players with a history of domestic violence allegations. In December 2015, trade talks with the Cincinnati Reds over star closer Aroldis Chapman broke down after Yahoo Sports unearthed a police report alleging Chapman fired a gun into his garage while arguing with a girlfriend.

Chapman was suspended for 30 games. The Dodgers backed away from acquiring Chapman, who eventually was traded to the New York Yankees. The Dodgers also avoided negotiations last summer with the Blue Jays about Osuna, who was traded to the Houston Astros.


A similar philosophy applied to their lack of interest in reliever Jeurys Familia, who was suspended for 15 games in 2017 after an arrest on suspicion of domestic abuse. Manfred’s office determined that Familia did not assault or threaten his wife on the night of the arrest.

“Nevertheless, I have concluded that Mr. Familia’s overall conduct that night was inappropriate, violated the policy and warrants discipline,” Manfred’s report read.

The Dodgers issued a statement pertaining to Urias on Tuesday morning.

“We learned about the alleged incident this morning and are in the process of gathering information,” the statement read. “As a result, we have no comment at this time regarding the incident. However, every allegation of domestic violence must be taken seriously and addressed promptly, and we will cooperate fully with the authorities and Major League Baseball to ensure that that happens in this case.”

Some teams have parted ways with players after alleged incidents of domestic violence. The Blue Jays felt compelled to trade Osuna after his arrest; and never again did he pitch for them. The NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs released running back Kareem Hunt in November after video emerged of Hunt kicking and shoving a woman. Hunt was subsequently signed by the Cleveland Browns.

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Twitter: @McCulloughTimes