MLB suspends Starlin Castro 30 games following domestic violence investigation


Nationals infielder Starlin Castro has been issued a 30-game suspension by Major League Baseball for violating its domestic violence policy.

Castro was placed on administrative leave on July 16, following an alleged domestic violence incident that occurred earlier this summer, and that leave was extended for an additional seven days on July 23 to allow for MLB to continue its investigation.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced on Friday that Castro will be suspended for 30 games without pay, effective immediately, and will be fined an undisclosed amount, in addition to having to participate in a confidential and comprehensive evaluation and treatment program. Castro will also be ineligible for the 2021 postseason.

"My office has completed its investigation into the allegations that Starlin Castro violated Major League Baseball's Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy," Manfred said. "Having reviewed all of the available evidence, I have concluded that Mr. Castro violated our Policy and that discipline is appropriate."

The Nationals have already said they don't plan on having Castro return to the organization, with manager Dave Martinez condemning Castro's behavior especially harshly. GM Mike Rizzo admitted he "failed" in vetting Castro properly before signing him in Jan. 2020. Castro had been accused of sexual assault in 2011 while playing for the Cubs, although police at the time determined there wasn't sufficient evidence to charge him.

"We do pride ourselves — you've heard me say it a million times — that you read about our guys in the sports section and not the other sections," Rizzo said earlier this month. "And this time we failed. I'm responsible for the players that I put on our roster and on the field, and we did a lot of due diligence, specifically with this player, because of his past, and because we had a lot of inside information on him because he played for some of our coaches and that type of thing. So going into it, when we signed him, I felt comfortable with it."

The Nationals issued the following statement, signaling their intention to release Castro at the conclusion of his suspension: "We take all allegations of abuse and harassment very seriously. We fully support the Commissioner's decision and will be releasing Starlin Castro upon the completion of his suspension. Per the terms of the policy, we will have no further comment on this matter."