Back in 2009 a young pitcher from the Dominican Republic named Juan Collado signed with the Diamondbacks for $17,000 and even played in Arizona’s minor-league system, but it turned out his name was actually Juan Carlos Paniagua.
MLB suspended him for one year and the deal with the Diamondbacks was voided, but then once he was done sitting out Paniagua signed with the Yankees … for $1.1 million.
So falsifying documents and misrepresenting himself ended up earning Paniagua an extra $1 million. Or it did, briefly. Ben Badler of Baseball America reports that Paniagua has been suspended again and the pitcher’s lucrative deal with the Yankees has also been voided.
MLB has refused to disclose the exact nature of the suspension and apparently they haven’t even told the Yankees, but Badler notes that “one-year suspensions are usually reserved for a player who presents false information to teams about his age or his identity.”
In other words, maybe Juan Carlos Paniagua isn’t actually Juan Carlos Paniagua just like Juan Collado wasn’t actually Juan Collado. And maybe next time he’ll get $2 million.
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.