It’s never pretty to see a player get caught up in the law. We usually see it, speak down on it, and then give the said player another chance.
This is not the usual. Odoubel Herrera was arrested and charged with simple assault after a report of domestic violence.
There is no place for domestic violence in baseball. Barring evidence exonerating Herrera of wrongdoing, the Phillies must separate themselves from Odubel Herrera.
The Phillies cannot do what the Cubs did with shortstop Addison Russell. Accusations against Russell first came out in June of 2017. MLB started an investigation that was open-ended and never closed. In September of 2018, Russell’s ex-wife released further allegations.
He was put on paid administrative leave and eventually was suspended 40 games by MLB. Even though he denied allegations the entire way, he did not appeal his suspension.
The Chicago Cubs were put under a microscope. Manager Joe Maddon seemed aloof about the situation. Russell was allowed to walk up to the song “Beat it” by Michael Jackson in April of 2018. It was also alleged that the Cubs threatened media outlets that put Russell in a negative light. That report was publicly denied by the Cubs, but it does show what an unnecessary mess it is to have a player accused of domestic violence on your roster.
The Phillies cannot tolerate having Herrera on the roster, especially if the reports are confirmed. The only issue would be the estimated $22 million the Phillies still owe Herrera. If the team were to cut him, they’d have to pay out his remaining salary regardless if he is found guilty or not.
The one option the Phillies have is that they could trade him a la the Blue Jays with Roberto Osuna. Osuna was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend and ended up with a 75-game suspension from MLB.
He was traded for the former Phillie malcontent Ken Giles that had cursed out his manager and was demoted just weeks before. The Astros, of course, received major criticisms for their acquisition of Osuna.
The one thing the Phillies cannot let the whole issue pass quietly. Firstly, Gabe Kapler said it best.
“Domestic violence is unacceptable all the time, every time.”
Phillies cannot condone domestic violence by keeping Herrera on the roster if he is found guilty. He was already underperforming and a large part of Philadelphia already disliked him. There is no reason to keep him around.
Secondly, this is the first season that the Phillies are officially out of the rebuilding stage and are actively competing in the NL East. They cannot have distractions in the locker room and that’s what Herrera would be.
It just isn’t worth it and isn’t the right thing to do.
Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports