IMPERIAL BEACH, California — That was a big league bust.
Former major league baseball pitcher Esteban Loaiza may soon be trading in his uniform for a prison jumpsuit after narcotics officers found 44 pounds of cocaine in a home he recently had rented.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s office said they stopped the 46-year-old Loaiza for a minor traffic infraction after he pulled out from a home in Imperial Beach in a 2010 Mercedes 450 investigators believed has been used for smuggling drugs.
A search of the vehicle turned up an elaborately concealed compartment typically used to hide contraband, the police said.
With that, investigators were able to get a warrant for a home Loaiza gad just leased in early February where they discovered a major league stash of coke worth approximately $500,000.
Loaiza was charged with cocaine possession with intent to sell and other charges and was held on $200,000 bond.
Loaiza was born just across the border in Tijuana and went to high school in Imperial Beach. He pitched in the bigs for 14 seasons for nine major league teams — including the the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees. He ended his career in 2008 with a 126-114 record.
Loaiza was an All-Star in 2003 and 2004, and finished second in the AL Cy Young award voting in 2003 when he finished 21-9 with a 2.90 ERA for the White Sox.
According to Baseball-Reference.com, Loaiza made just over $43.7 million in his major league career.