Washington Nationals infielder Starlin Castro has been suspended for 30 games without pay for violating the MLB’s policy on domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. He has been fined an undisclosed amount, and the team announced it will release Castro at the end of his suspension.
“Having reviewed all the available evidence, I have concluded that Mr. Castro violated our policy and that discipline is appropriate,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.
Castro was originally placed on administrative leave by MLB on July 16. At the time, manager Dave Martinez said it was because of “family matters.”
In 2011, Castro was accused of sexual assault as a member of the Chicago Cubs, but he was not charged.
“We take all allegations of abuse and harassment very seriously,” the Nationals 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.”
The 31-year-old signed a two-year deal with the Nationals during the 2019 offseason. General manager Mike Rizzo said he did his due diligence and investigated the original claims before signing Castro. But he was “surprised” and “angered” by the new allegations.
“You’ve heard me say it a million times, that you read about our guys in the sports section and not the other sections — and this time, we failed,” Rizzo said during a July 20 press conference. “I’m responsible for the players that I put on the 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.”
Castro was batting .283 with three home runs, 38 RBIs and 25 runs in 87 games this season. He has played for four teams over his 12-year career including the Miami Marlins and New York Yankees. He is a four-time All-Star, including a 2017 nod while with the Yankees.