Pittsburgh has been searching for a right-handed hitter and it looks like they’ve settled on Corey Hart, signing him to a one-year contract worth $2.5 million guaranteed and $2.5 million in incentives.
Hart was one of the best right-handed power hitters in baseball for the Brewers from 2010-2012, batting .279 with an .857 OPS and 31, 26, and 30 homers. Then he missed all of 2013 with a knee injury and was a mess for the Mariners this past season, hitting .203 in 68 games.
As a cheap bounceback gamble not counted on for more than a part-time role–platoon with Pedro Alvarez at first base or with a lefty bat in the outfield–he makes sense and if healthy he should have plenty of upside at age 33.
Yesterday’s news about the arrest of Pirates closer Felipe Vázquez was pretty disturbing. Today’s update from Jeff Passan of ESPN is even worse.
Vázquez has been charged with solicitation of a child and providing obscene material to minors, and yesterday’s report said that he texted a 15-year-old girl that he would meet up with her after the season for sex. According to police, however, Vázquez had already met with a minor in an attempt to have sex. When she was 13:
Yesterday Vázquez’s attorney, Jay Reisinger, issued a statement saying “We are in the process of reviewing both the Pennsylvania and Florida charging documents, as well as the underlying facts of the matter. At this time, any comment would be premature.”
The Pennsylvania charges referenced involve an alleged statutory sexual assault of a victim who is at least 16 years old by a person who is at least 11 years older than the victim; unlawful contact with a minor; corruption of a minor by a defendant who is 18 years old or older; and indecent assault of a person less than 16 years old. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported last night that the offenses allegedly occurred on Aug. 1, 2018.
Vázquez is still in Pennsylvania, where he was arrested, and is awaiting extradition to Florida. He was denied bail and was characterized by the arraigning judge as a flight risk. Likely because he is a native and citizen of a foreign country with substantial financial resources.
UPDATE: I had missed this previously, but the Pirates issued a statement about all of this yesterday afternoon: