Former Major League Baseball pitcher Esteban Antonio Loaiza, who started eights games over parts of two seasons with the Dodgers, was in a San Diego-area jail Monday on suspicion of possessing more than 44 pounds of illicit narcotics, jail records showed.
Loaiza, 46, was arrested by San Diego County sheriff’s deputies and booked into a jail in Chula Vista in San Diego County shortly before 6 p.m. Friday, according to jail records. He was being held Monday in lieu of $200,000 bail on suspicion of felony possession of more than 44 pounds of heroin or cocaine and two felony counts of transporting and possessing narcotics with intent to sell.
Loaiza started five games for the Dodgers as a 35-year-old in 2007, going 1-4 with an 8.34 earned run average. He pitched 24 innings for the Dodgers in 2008 over seven games, including three starts, finishing that stint 1-2 with a 5.63 ERA.
Despite his two mostly unsuccessful stints with the Dodgers, Loaiza was a two-time All Star who won 126 games in his career, the second most for a Mexican-born pitcher behind Dodger legend Fernando Valenzuela. Loaiza’s best season came with the Chicago White Sox in 2003 when he won 21 games, recorded a 2.9 ERA and finished second in American League Cy Young voting.
Loaiza also pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Washington Nationals and Oakland A’s. He last pitched in 2008 for the White Sox and finished his career with 2,099 innings pitched and 1,382 strikeouts.
Aside from his baseball career, Loaiza is well-known as the husband of singer Jenni Rivera, a Long Beach-native who died in a plane crash in 2012 in Mexico.
The sheriff’s department could not immediately be reached for comment regarding Loaiza’s arrest. Jail records showed he was set to be arraigned Wednesday.
In other news, a Panorama City man received a 10-year sentence for kidnapping a former Dodger pitcher’s brother.