Ex-White Sox scout sent to prison for taking kickbacks on international players

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According to the Associated Press, former White Sox scout Victor Mateo was sentenced to eight months in prison yesterday in Chicago due to his involvement in taking kickbacks intended from international signings.

Mateo, who was the team’s scout in the Dominican Republic, and two other former White Sox employees were found to have defrauded 23 prospects out of $400,000 between 2004 and 2008. They did it by inflating the value of the players and taking the added cash for themselves. All three pleaded guilty.

We learned back in August that former White Sox senior director of player personnel David Wilder was sentenced to two years in prison for orchestrating the scheme. Another former scout, Jorge L. Oquendo Rivera, received a sentence of one year and a day.

Twins designate Phil Hughes for assignment

AP Photo/Ron Schwane
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Phil Hughes was officially designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday, the culmination of multiple injury-plagued seasons and poor performance.

Things couldn’t have started out much better for Hughes in Minnesota. The former Yankees hurler joined the Twins on a three-year, $24 million contract in December of 2013 and reeled off a 3.52 ERA over 32 starts during his first season with the club. He set the MLB record (which still stands, by the way) for single season strikeout-to-walk ratio and even received some downballot Cy Young Award consideration. The big year resulted in the two sides ripping up their previous agreement with a new five-year, $58 million deal, but it was all downhill after that.

Hughes took a step back with a 4.40 ERA in 2015 and struggled with a 5.95 ERA over 11 starts and one relief appearance in 2016 before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He wasn’t any better upon his return last year, putting up a 5.87 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances. Hughes missed time with a biceps issue and required a thoracic outlet revision surgery in August. He began this year on the disabled list with an oblique injury, only to put up a 6.75 ERA over two starts and five relief appearances before the Twins decided to turn the page this week.

Hughes is still owed the remainder of his $13.2 million salary for this year and another $13.2 million next year. The deal didn’t work out as anyone would have hoped, but unfortunately this is another case of health just not cooperating.