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Report: Former MLB pitcher Esteban Loaiza expected to plead guilty in felony drug case

Former MLB pitcher Esteban Loaiza is expected to plead guilty this week after being arrested earlier this year in San Diego for possession of more than 44 pounds of cocaine. (Getty Images)

Former MLB pitcher Esteban Loaiza is expected to plead guilty this week in a federal cocaine distribution case, according to ABC7 in Chicago.

Loaiza was arrested in February in San Diego with more than 20 kilos of cocaine, which translates to more than 44 pounds and is worth roughly $500,000. He initially pleaded not guilty to a charge of possession with intent to distribute, but has a “Change of Plea” hearing in Southern California U.S. District Court on Friday, according to ABC7.

If convicted, Loaiza would face a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence up to life in prison, according to ABC7. After spending several months in jail following his arrest, Loaiza posted bail in May and has been out since. Loaiza’s attorney and the spokesperson for the US Attorney in San Diego declined to comment.

Loaiza played for eight different teams in his MLB career from 1995-2008, most significantly with the Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays and Pittsburgh Pirates.

He was a starter in the 2003 All-Star game while playing for the White Sox, and finished second in the Cy Young Award voting that season, too. Loaiza, who was born in Tijuana, Mexico, is currently the second-winningest Mexican pitcher in MLB history.

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