Jose Rijo: really underrated pitcher. Also: he’s had a hot mess of a post-playing career. The latest:
A prosecutor in the Dominican Republic says 1990 World Series MVP Jose Rijo has been charged with laundering money for a suspected drug trafficker.
Prosecutor Soraime Vargas says about 80 percent of the assets of fugitive drug suspect Avelino Castro were in Rijo’s name. Those assets allegedly include two hotels and a sports complex. Vargas announced money laundering charges against the former pitcher at a news conference Monday. Prosecutors asked a court to order Rijo to remain in the country but did not seek his arrest.
The drug suspect, by the way, is suspected of kidnapping and murdering people. And as the article says, he’s now a fugitive. Fugitives often need clean sources of money, so hey hey.
This has all been simmering since last September, by the way, when authorities first tried to question Rijo about it all but he kept refusing to show up. Then there was that bit a few years back when he was neck-deep in the international prospect shenanigans that brought down Jim Bowden in Washington.
He had nasty stuff back in the day. Now: more nastiness.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.