Major League Baseball has suspended Starlin Castro for 30 days for violating the league’s domestic abuse policy, and the Nationals subsequently announced they will release the veteran infielder once he completes the suspension.
“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,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in the league’s announcement. “Having reviewed all of the available evidence, I have concluded that Mr. Castro violated our Policy and that discipline is appropriate.”
MLB placed Castro on administrative leave two weeks ago after official learned of an allegation of domestic abuse by him. The 31-year-old was paid throughout his leave, per the collective bargaining arrangement between MLB and the MLB Players Association, but he will now lose his salary during the course of his 30-day suspension.
The league’s investigation wrapped up fairly quickly, certainly faster than other recent similar cases. In addition to the unpaid suspension, he has been fined an undisclosed amount, will be ineligible for the 2021 postseason and will participate in a confidential and comprehensive evaluation and treatment program supervised by the joint policy board.
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Davey Martinez both spoke out against Castro after the initial news surfaced, and Rizzo went so far as to say Castro would not be rejoining the team at any point.
Today’s news of the 30-day suspension would officially make Castro eligible to return for the season’s final month, but the Nationals today announced they plan to release him once the suspension is completed.
“We take all allegations of abuse and harassment very seriously,” the club said in a statement. “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.”
Signed prior to the 2020 season to a two-year, $12 million contract, Castro wound up playing in only 103 total games for the Nationals, hitting .280 with 23 doubles, five homers, 42 RBIs and a .715 OPS. He missed most of last season after fracturing his right wrist, and though he struggled at the plate for much of this season’s first half he was on a tear for three weeks prior to being removed from the roster, hitting .427 with a 1.050 OPS over his final 21 games.