Remember Esteban Loaiza? He pitched in the Major Leagues from 1995-2008, throwing 2,000 innings as a roughly league-average hurler. He earned two All-Star berths and in 2003 finished second in AL Cy Young voting after going 21-9 with a 2.90 ERA and a league-leading 207 strikeouts for the White Sox.
Since retiring a decade ago, Loaiza has settled down and… become a drug dealer?
On Monday, Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reported that Loaiza had been arrested in San Diego with 20 kilograms (about 44 pounds) of either heroin or cocaine. That, if you are wondering, is a lot.
This is a new one: Esteban Loaiza, drug kingpin.
The second-winningest pitcher from Mexico in MLB history was arrested Friday with 20 kilos of heroin or cocaine, according to San Diego police records. He'll be in court Wednesday to face felony drug charges. Details are in pics. pic.twitter.com/312pf21Q4F
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 12, 2018
Loaiza, whose bond was set at $200,000, faces three charges: possession of heroin and cocaine over 20 kilograms, possession of narcotics for sale and possession and transportation of narcotics for sale. He will reportedly appear in court Wednesday.
Athletes getting arrested is nothing new, of course. But typically their offenses concern drunk driving or fighting at a bar. Involvement in a large-scale drug operations is fairly novel, although former NFL receiver Sam Hurd, who is serving 15 years in prison on drugs charges, offers some recent precedent.
For what it’s worth, Loaiza made $43,734,000 in his 14-season MLB career.