Former Blue Jays pitcher, Esteban Loaiza was arrested last Friday, as per the San Diego Sheriff’s office for possession of 20 kg of a substance believed to be cocaine. There’s a lot more to this story left to be told, but even in these early stages it’s terribly disappointing news and a bit of a head-scratcher considering all the success and wealth Loaiza accumulated over his 14-year big league career.
For Blue Jay fans old enough to remember, Loaiza pitched three mediocre seasons in Toronto from 2000-2002. During his time with the Blue Jays, he went 25-28, with a 4.96 ERA in 69 starts. There was plenty of hype when Toronto acquired Loaiza from the Rangers, as he was trumpeted as the starting pitcher needed to beef-up a rotation far too dependent on one pitcher, Roy Halladay.
Things never did work out for Loaiza in Toronto. He’d leave the team after the 2002 season and sign as a free agent with the White Sox. It was that first season in 2003 with Chicago that would be Loaiza’s best. That season, he was the starting pitcher for the American League at the all-star game, and finished the season with an impressive 21-9 record and 2.90 ERA. It was also in 2003 that Loaiza would finish 2nd to Halladay for the Cy Young award.
If seeing Loaiza’s success with the White Sox wasn’t frustrating enough for Blue Jay fans, all one has to do to get a little more irked is look back at what Toronto gave up in order to acquire him in that trade with Texas. In exchange for Loaiza, the Blue Jays parted with relief pitcher Darwin Cubillan and a prospect by the name of Michael Young. Cubillan would only pitch one season with the Rangers…Young on the other hand would go on to play 13-years in Texas, attend seven all-star games, and rack-up 2,230 hits.
Loaiza ended up retiring from Major League Baseball in 2008, with 126 wins, 2 all-star game appearances, and 2,099 innings pitched. He’s set to appear in court this Wednesday.