ATLANTA — Atlanta Braves star Marcell Ozuna is returning much of last season's paycheck after the outfielder violated Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy, according to the league's commissioner.
MLB Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said Ozuna has retroactively received an unpaid suspension of 20 regular-season games.
The Braves player was arrested in May after Sandy Springs police said they caught Ozuna assaulting his wife in his home. Officers said they saw Ozuna "grabbing the victim by the neck and throwing her against a wall."
The baseball player's discipline includes all 20 regular season games served while he was on administrative leave between his Sept. 10 placement and the conclusion of the 2021 season, according to an MLB Commissioner's Office news release. This means he's already served his suspension. He is eligible to play next season.
"My office has completed its investigation into the allegations that Marcell Ozuna violated Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy," Manfred said in a news release. "Having reviewed the totality of the available evidence, I have concluded that Mr. Ozuna violated our Policy and that discipline is appropriate.”
Ozuna was signed to a four-year, $64 million contract in February. The deal also included a fifth-year club option at $16 million or a $1 million buyout, guaranteeing him $65 million.
The team released a statement about Ozuna's discipline Monday but did not speak on his future with the Braves.
"Any instance of domestic violence is unacceptable, and we fully support the decision by the Commissioner’s Office regarding Marcell. We are encouraged to know that Marcell has accepted full responsibility for his actions and is taking the necessary measures to learn and grow from the situation."
Lawyers said Ozuna and his wife had a previous domestic violence incident in Florida last year. He has been out on bond since June.