Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez has been arrested on charges of soliciting a child, computer pornography and providing obscene material to minors, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has announced. Vazquez was arrested in Pittsburgh Tuesday morning on a warrant issued from Lee County, Florida.
Here's more details from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement:
FDLE agents, with assistance from the Pennsylvania State Police, today arrested Felipe Vazquez, 28, of Saint Cloud, FL, for one count of computer pornography - solicitation of a child and one count of providing obscene material to minors. Vazquez, a baseball player with the Pittsburgh Pirates, was taken into custody in Pittsburgh this morning on a felony warrant out of Lee County, Florida.
FDLE's investigation began in August of this year after agents obtained information that Vazquez and a reported sexual relationship with a 13-year-old female victim who resides in Lee County. The victim, now 15 years of age, was continuing to have a relationship with Vazquez via text messaging and received a video in July from him in which he is shown performing a sex act. Additionally, Vazquez allegedly sent the victim text messages suggesting they would meet for sex after his baseball season was over.
Major League Baseball has immediately put Vazquez on administrative leave (see below). An investigation will follow and then we can probably safely assume there will be a hefty suspension, depending upon how Vazquez's legal proceedings unfold.
The Pirates released the following statement:
"Today we were made aware of an active law enforcement investigation involving Felipe Vázquez and his subsequent arrest. We take this matter, and these charges in particular, extremely seriously. We have informed the Commissioner's Office of the investigation and arrest. The Commissioner's Office will immediately place Felipe Vázquez on Administrative Leave (and, as a result, Restricted List) pursuant to the Joint MLB/MLBPA Policy. We need to be respectful to all involved and the ongoing legal proceeding. As a result, the organization, our staff and players cannot comment any further at this time."
Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that Vazquez also faces four charges in Pennsylvania:
Four additional charges have been filed against Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez, according to police in Pennsylvania. The victim told police that when she was 13 she met Vazquez while he was in the bullpen at PNC Park and has communicated with him via apps and text messages since.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) September 17, 2019
Vazquez is 28 years old and a two-time All-Star. He's under Pirates' control through 2021 with club options for 2022 and 2023. As long as Vazquez is on administrative leave, he will not be paid. The focus here should absolutely be on the victim, which trickles down to whether MLB ever wants to employ Vazquez again.
CBS Sports will continue to update this story as necessary.