Pittsburgh Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez was arrested Tuesday morning and charged with child solicitation. Vazquez is being held in Allegheny County Jail and will be extradited to Lee County, Florida. The FDLE started investigating Vazquez this past August. Pennsylvania State Police has stated Vazquez was taken into custody without incident.
Pittsburgh Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez has been arrested and charged with one count of computer pornography, solicitation of a child and one count of providing obscene material to minors, according to police in Lee County, Florida.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) September 17, 2019
Felipe Vazquez Arrested
The Charges Against Vazquez
The charges against Vazquez is one count of computer pornography, solicitation of a child, and one count of providing obscene material to minors. The FDLE alleges that there was a sexual relationship in 2017 between Vazquez and a then 13-year-old girl. Vazquez who is now 28-years-old makes his residence in Lee County, Florida.
It is also alleged that Vazquez has continued this relationship this year. The victim is now 15-years-old. Vazquez allegedly sent the girl a video via text message of him performing a sex act. Other text messages suggested the two would meet up for sex after the baseball season was over.
The FDLE searched Vazquez’s apartment today and confiscated all electronic devices for further examination. Further charges could be forthcoming if the seized devices reveal new crimes.
Major League Baseball responded swiftly by placing Vazquez on Administrative Leave and the Restricted List. This is in conjunction with the MLB and the MLBPA’s joint policy. Vazquez’s agent and the MLBPA have yet to comment on the arrest.
Pirates president Frank Coonelly released a statement today. “We take this matter, and these charges in particular, extremely seriously.”
Pirates President Frank Coonelly’s statement regarding Felipe Vazquez. pic.twitter.com/XWazDLP3YC
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) September 17, 2019
Vazquez has become one of baseball’s best closers. In four years with the Pirates, Vazquez has saved 86 games with an ERA of 2.17. Vazquez is in the middle of a four-year contract extension worth $22 million. Vazquez was the subject of trade rumors at the trade deadline. Ultimately the Pirates held onto their young and talented closer.
Vazquez made news last week when he and teammate Kyle Crick got into a fight. The fight resulted in Crick having to undergo surgery to repair a tendon in his right index finger. The Pirates fined both players. Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said this incident is unacceptable with the standards of a Major League Player.
PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 06: Felipe Vazquez #73 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch in the ninth inning during the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park on September 6, 2019, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)