Former MLB pitcher Esteban Loaiza has been arrested in San Diego, California. He faces several felony drug charges.
Esteban Loaiza is charged with possessing more than 20 kilograms of heroin and/or cocaine for purchase/sale and transporting for sale narcotics and/or a controlled substance.
Loaiza’s bail was set at $200,000. He is set to appear in court on February 14, 2018.
There are questions as to whether Loaiza will be able to make bail. The former major-league pitcher was once married to the late singer Jenni Rivera. His alleged financial impropriety was one of the reasons why she filed for divorce in the months before her death in 2012.
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
Esteban Loaiza’s Career as an MLB Pitcher
A native of Tijuana, Mexico, the 46-year-old Loaiza pitched 14 seasons in the majors for eight teams from 1995 to 2008. He spent four years with the Pittsburgh Pirates and three years each with the Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, and Toronto Blue Jays.
He ended his career with a 126-114 record and a 4.65 ERA in 377 games.
His last season was in 2008, when he played with the White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. Loaiza’s best season was with the White Sox in 2003, when he went 21-9 with a 2.9 ERA. He finished second to the late Roy Halladay in voting for the American League Cy Young Award.
Among native Mexican MLB pitchers, Loaiza’s 126 MLB victories are second only to Fernando Valenzuela’s 173 wins.
In January 2018, Loaiza was in Chicago for the White Sox’s SoxFest where he posed with former teammates and fans.
One of his last Instagram posts on January 28 shows Loaiza signing autographs for young fans.