UPDATE: More details HERE.
11:08 AM: Orioles relief pitcher Alfredo Simon may be in serious trouble back in his native country.
According to the Associated Press, he is the “main suspect” in the fatal shooting of a man down in the Dominican Republic.
The AP says that Simon, 29, is believed to have shot and killed 25-year-old Michel Castillo Almonte and wounded his 17-year-old brother during a New Year’s Eve scuffle in the seaside town of Luperon.
Orioles representative Felipe Alou Jr. told the Associated Press that he has spoken with Simon and that the right-hander is claiming to be innocent.
He posted a 4.93 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in 49 relief appearances last season, fanning 37 batters and walking 22 over 49.1 innings of work while serving as both a setup man and closer.
If convicted, he could face up to 30 years in jail.
John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.
The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.
Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.
The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.
Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.