Jose Rijo, the former Reds postseason hero and Nationals executive who lost his job as a result of the 2009 Esmailyn Gonzalez scandal, is slated to be arrested in his native Dominican Republic sometime in the next two weeks for being in contempt of court.
German Miranda, the head of the Dominican's Justice Ministry Anti-Laundering Unit, announced today that Rijo will be arrested before Christmas Eve for his failure twice to appear in court for questioning about his business dealings with a fugitive wanted on charges of murder and narcotics trafficking.
Matias Avelino Castro is wanted on charges of murdering journalist Jose Silvestre and narcotics trafficking. Miranda told a Dominican television network he has evidence linking Castro's seized businesses in the Dominican (valued at $2.6 million in the United States) with Rijo. He said Rijo, 46, could be charged with aiding and abetting a fugitive and with forming part of Castro's businesses.
Rijo didn't show up for questioning November 3, claiming stomach problems, and again failed to appear December 6.
The MVP of the 1990 World Series after pitching the Reds to a four-game sweep of the heavily favored Athletics, Rijo spent four years working for the Nationals as a special assistant to former general manager Jim Bowden.
Rijo also operated a training academy in the Dominican, where he discovered a teenage shortstop who claimed to be named Esmailyn Gonzalez. The Nationals wound up signing the player for $1.4 million in 2006, only to find out in 2009 he had lied about his age and identity. Gonzalez was actually named Carlos Alvarez and was four years older than he claimed.
The Nationals fired Rijo, along with other club employees in the Dominican, on Feb. 26, 2009. Three days later, Bowden resigned as GM. To this point, no formal charges have been filed against either Rijo or Bowden.
Alvarez, now 26, continues to play in the Nationals' farm system and this season hit a combined .321 in 46 games at the rookie Gulf Coast League and short-season Class A Auburn against competition several years younger than him.