Ex-MLBer Loaiza arrested for drug possession

February 12th, 2018

Former MLB pitcher Esteban Loaiza, who played for eight teams over a 14-year career, was arrested Friday just before 6 p.m. PT in San Diego for possessing more than 20 kilograms of cocaine or heroin, according to a San Diego Sherriff's Office arrest report.

Loaiza was charged with three felonies under California law, as listed in the report: Possession of heroin or cocaine exceeding 20 kilograms; possession of a narcotic or controlled substance for purpose of sale; and the transportation or sale of a narcotic or controlled substance.

According to the report, Loaiza was being held at the South Bay Detention Facility in Chula Vista, Calif. The 46-year-old has a court date set for Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. PT. His bail was set at $200,000.

Loaiza broke into the big leagues with the Pirates in 1995 at age 23. He went on to pitch for the Rangers, Blue Jays, White Sox, Yankees, Nationals, A's and Dodgers. Loaiza finished his career with a 126-114 record, a 4.65 ERA and 1,382 strikeouts. Loaiza's win total is the second most by a Mexican-born pitcher, behind Fernando Valenzuela.

Loaiza pitched in three postseasons, with the Rangers in 1999, the Yankees in 2004 and the A's in '06.

The right-hander was a two-time American League All-Star with the White Sox in 2003 and '04, starting the 2003 All-Star Game for the AL and throwing two scoreless innings. In that 2003 season, Loaiza went 21-9 with a 2.90 ERA and an AL-leading 207 strikeouts, finishing second in the AL Cy Young Award voting to Toronto's Roy Halladay, while also placing in the AL MVP Award voting.

Loaiza had recently attended the White Sox's 2018 SoxFest, which was held during the last week of January.