The New York Daily News reports that Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes will stand trial on domestic abuse charges in Hawaii. Currently the trial date is set for April 4. As you likely know, Reyes was arrested on October 31 and charged with “abuse of a family and/or household member” after an altercation with his wife which sent her to the hospital with multiple injuries.
As the Daily News story notes, there is risk beyond mere criminal sanction for Reyes here. Depending on his citizenship status — which is not 100% clear — Reyes could potentially face deportation if he is convicted of a crime of violence. There are likely to be continuing plea negotiations here, however, and it’s possible that lesser charges or some resolution could be attempted by Reyes’ lawyers to protect against that possibility.
On the baseball side, this continues to be interesting. Reyes is already in the crosshairs of MLB’s new Domestic Violence policy and the league continues to investigate and/or wait it out to see what happens. As I noted last fall, Reyes’ case is more important than merely what happens to Reyes, as Rob Manfred will be setting new precedent with him. While the MLB policy is supposed to be carried out on a separate track from the criminal justice case, it seems logical that the more protracted and public Reyes’ legal case is, the more severe his punishment is likely to be from MLB. Maybe that’s not fair, but the fact is that if Reyes’ case was dispatched quietly, MLB would have greater political latitude to go softer on him.
So a trial is not great news for Reyes. Especially a trail that is scheduled to take place during the first week of the 2016 season. Time to call your lawyers and push them for a plea deal, Jose.