Ex-ballplayers Rondell White, Cliff Floyd, Gregg Jeffries and Todd Hundley — and current ballplayers David Wright and Jason Marquis — were allegedly defrauded in a real estate scam. So says the complaint White and Floyd have filed in federal court anyway:
The lawsuit claims that [Defendant Stephen] Hill, who had served as White and Floyd’s
financial adviser for some 15 years, had allegedly “guaranteed that the
Whites would not only get all of their money back quickly, but would
make a substantial profit on their investment,” based on the notion that
a buyer for the distressed property — priced at $14.485 million, but
supposedly appraised at $18 million — had already been secured.
But when White and Floyd both began to inquire about the status of
the deal at various points over the following three years, Hill, they
say, would become “markedly evasive” about the details, finally
prompting them to contact an attorney this spring. White and Floyd claim
that the first documentation for the deal of any kind was shown to them
in March 2010, over two years after their investment.
White is alleged to have been bilked out of $1 million and Floyd is down $1.25 million. The other investors — who are not part of this lawsuit, but could presumably be later — are in for anywhere between $250K and $500K a piece.
I’ve dealt with lawsuits like this one before. The chances that they’re going to see any of that money again are somewhere between slim and oh dear, you gotta be kidding me.
In other news: hey, a Gregg Jeffries sighting! Neat!
Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.
Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.
Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.
Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.
The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.
Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.
Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.
The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.
Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.
Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.
Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.