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MLB moving closer to domestic violence policy

Major League Baseball is moving closer to a new domestic violence policy for the sport, a source familiar with the negotiations told ESPN on Monday.

Representatives from the Major League Baseball Players Association and the commissioner's office have been trading drafts and working on specific language toward an agreement, the source said. The two sides have talked extensively to representatives from domestic violence groups to better craft a comprehensive policy.

Although no agreement is imminent, the source said the two sides are making a "good-faith effort" and have made considerable progress. Any proposal is ultimately subject to approval by the players before it goes into effect.

MLB and the union began talks last September to enact new policies and punishments for domestic violence in response to high-profile cases involving then-Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and several other NFL players.

Former commissioner Bud Selig spoke out on the need for a new policy 10 months ago, saying domestic violence "is one of the one worst forms of societal conduct."

"We understand the responsibility of baseball to quickly and firmly address off-field conduct by our players, even potentially in situations in which the criminal justice system does not do so," Selig said at the time.

Baseball's labor agreement includes a voluntary treatment program for certain alcohol-related and off-field violent conduct. It also allows the commissioner or a team to impose discipline, but does not include specifics if a player is charged with a crime "involving the use of physical force or violence, including but not limited to, sexual assault, domestic violence, resisting arrest, battery and assault."

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.