The Padres officially announced the signing of second baseman Ian Kinsler to a two-year contract on Thursday. To make room for him on the active roster, the club designated pitcher Clayton Richard for assignment. Richard is owed $3 million for the 2019 season, which the Padres will have to pay (minus the major league minimum salary) if he signs with a new team.
Richard, 35, posted a disappointing 5.33 ERA with 108 strikeouts and 60 walks over 158 2/3 innings for the Padres last season. He was also subpar in 2017 with the Padres, finishing with a 4.79 ERA across 197 1/3 innings.
Richard underwent season-ending knee surgery in August. That, Richard’s age, and his recent performance are certainly red marks against him, but he’s left-handed and an innings-eater when healthy, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him quickly latch on elsewhere.
Jeff Passan of ESPN is reporting that Pittsburgh Pirates closer Felipe Vázquez has been arrested and charged with one count of computer pornography, the solicitation of a child, and one count of providing obscene material to minors.
The details, from a report from the Lee County, Florida Sheriff’s Department are ugly.
According to authorities, Vázquez has allegedly been engaging in sexual activity with a now-15-year-old girl from the time she as 13 years-old. As recently as this July Vázquez allegedly sent the victim videos of him engaging in an unspecified sex act. Vázquez also allegedly sent the victim texts saying that they would meet for sex after the baseball season was over. It is unclear based on the minimal information currently available if the “sexual activity” referred to in the past involved physical activity or merely electronic communication.
The age of consent in the State of Florida is 18. While, like many states, Florida has “close-in-age” exceptions, they do not apply to the 28-year-old Vázquez and someone as young as his alleged victim.
Vázquez has been placed on administrative leave by Major League Baseball while the case is pending against him.
We will, without question, be following this story as it develops.