Esteban Loaiza is barely recognizable following shocking drug bust

Esteban Loaiza’s look has changed a lot since his days as a respected MLB pitcher. (AP/San Diego Union-Tribune)
Esteban Loaiza’s look has changed a lot since his days as a respected MLB pitcher. (AP/San Diego Union-Tribune)

Former MLB pitcher Esteban Loaiza was arrested on Feb 9. in San Diego for allegedly running a drug trafficking ring. The now 46-year-old could spend anywhere from 10 years to life in federal prison if convicted on the three felony charges he’s facing, and it seems the weight of the situation has taken a toll on him.

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As several people have noted, Loaiza looked nothing like the pitcher we remembered 10 years ago when he appeared in court this week.


The photos drive home the sad situation it appears Loaiza has put himself in.

Loaiza is being charged with possession of more than 20kgs of heroin or cocaine, possession or purchase of narcotics and transportation or sale of narcotics. At the time of his arrest, local sheriff’s officials said they found 44 pounds of cocaine stashed in secret compartments of his car.

It’s a long and hard fall for the once respected MLB pitcher. Loaiza finished his career as the league’s second-winningest pitcher from Mexico. He pitched for eight different teams over his 14-year career, with his last appearance coming with the Chicago White Sox in 2008.

Loaiza enjoyed a strong peak, winning 21 games for the White Sox in 2003. He even started the All-Star game that season at the then U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago and finished second in the Cy Young Award voting. His career earnings were $43.7 million.

Loaiza was reportedly moved to a federal detention center on Thursday while he awaits his trial. He’s due back in court on March 12.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Yahoo Sports Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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