UPDATE: According to Curt Anderson of the Associated Press, Jim Leyritz was acquitted on DUI manslaughter charges for a December 2007 crash that resulted in the death of Fredia Ann Veitch. However, he was convicted on a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence, which could put him in jail for a maximum sentence of six months.
In other words, he’s incredibly fortunate today. Leyrtiz could have faced up to 15 years in prison if he was convicted for the DUI manslaughter charge. Let’s hope he does something useful with a second chance.
9:30 AM: A quick update on Jim Leyrtiz’s trial.
According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, after six hours of deliberation on Friday, the jurors in Leyritz’s DUI manslaughter trial said that they were deadlocked.
“We have reached a stalemate. We have completely decided that we cannot reach a decision,” the panel of five men and one woman wrote the judge about 6 p.m. Friday in the second day of deliberations. “How do we proceed?”
Circuit Judge Marc Gold asked the jury to discuss the case further and attempt to reach a unanimous decision. They’ll do so today. If they are unable to reach a verdict, a mistrial will be declared. According to the Associated Press, prosecutors say there would be a second trial, which hopefully won’t take another three years.
In December of 2007, Leyritz allegedly drove drunk and ran a red light when he hit a vehicle driven by Fredia Ann Veitch, who was killed. The former Yankee faces between four and 15 years in prison if convicted.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.
Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.
When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.
What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.
The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.
Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.