Former MLB pitcher Esteban Loaiza pleaded guilty to drug trafficking Friday in federal court in San Diego, and faces life in prison, according to ESPN.
However, according to ESPN, by pleading guilty Loaiza expects a lesser sentence. The minimum sentence for the charge is 10 years. He also faces deportation to his native Mexico after completion of his sentence.
Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 2.
Police arrested Loaiza in February and charged him with possessing more than 20 kilos of heroin and/or cocaine for purchase/sale and for transporting for sale narcotics and/or a controlled substance. Police alleged he was using “sophisticated” smuggling devices to smuggle 22 kilograms of cocaine from a house located near a school.
The 46-year-old Loaiza pitched for eight teams in a 14-year MLB career, posting a 126-114 mark and 4.65 ERA. A two-time All-Star, his best season came in 2003 with the White Sox when he posted a 21-9 mark with a 2.90 ERA. He finished second in the AL Cy Young voting that year.
The right hander also pitched for the Pirates, Rangers, Blue Jays, A’s, Dodgers, Nationals and Yankees.
Loaiza’s 126 MLB victories are second to only Fernando Valenzuela’s 173 among natives of Mexico.