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Former Pirates Reliever, Convicted Sex Offender Felipe Vázquez Signs With Venezuelan Professional Team

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Felipe Vazquez

Felipe Vázquez, a former Pittsburgh Pirates’ relief pitcher and convicted sex offender, has signed a contract with the Marineros de Carabobo in the Venezuelan Professional League (LMPB).

“I could say it’s extremely important, it’s a showcase and I need to prove again what I’m capable of,” Vázquez said in a statement released by the team. “Although it is a dream and something I long for being able to play again and more in my country, it is also in my interest to play internationally. So I want to give my all in this league to get more chances and manage to keep playing in every league I can.

“I know for the time I have idle I will have many eyes on me waiting to see if I can be the same as before, but I trust in God and that all hard work will pay off.”

Vázquez, 32, had been deported from the United States to Venezuela in December after serving his prison sentence.

Vázquez was convicted of statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor, indecent assault of a person less than 16 years of age and 10 counts related to child sexual abuse material. The convictions stem from his original arrest in 2019.

A native of San Felipe, Venezuela, Felipe Vázquez pitched for the Pirates from 2016-19 after they acquired him from the Washington Nationals leading up to the 2016 trade deadline in a deal for relief pitcher Mark Melancon.

In his four seasons with the Pirates prior to his arrest, Vázquez went 15-9 with a 2.17 ERA and 86 saves across 227 appearances. He was a National League All-Star in 2018-19.

Vázquez was originally signed by the Tampa Bay Rays as an amateur free agent in 2008 before being dealt to the Nationals in 2014, two years before he was acquired by the Pirates.

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