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.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.