The Yankees released Jake Sanford — a minor league outfielder who was a third-round pick in 2019 — without much fanfare last week. But there will be plenty of attention given to this roster move now.
NJ Advance Media’s Brendan Kuty reports:
The Yankees cut Sanford over allegations that he repeatedly hounded teammates for their equipment to sell online, while also occasionally swiping it from their lockers, a person with knowledge of the situation told NJ Advance Media on Wednesday.
According to allegations on social media, Sanford victimized fans, too. While he allegedly sold equipment he could get his hands on — legally and illegally — fans accused him of defrauding them by taking money in advance for autographed equipment he never delivered.
The Yankees declined comment, according to the report. Major League Baseball is said to be aware of the allegations. And Sanford — a Nova Scotia native — has since deactivated all his social media accounts and signed with the Ottawa Titans of the independent Frontier League.
Sanford hit 16 home runs last season between High-A Tampa and Low-A Hudson Valley and the Yankees were high on him until all the scamming began. This also isn’t necessarily a case of a minor leaguer making unfairly low wages and becoming desperate to make ends meet. Sanford got a signing bonus close to $600,000 when he signed with the Yankees.
The full report goes into greater detail on the allegations, including one that Sanford pulled a fast one with an autographed pair of batting gloves entered in a charity auction.
[Shane Ronan’s] $75 bid was accepted, and Ronan said he was put in contact with Sanford, who agreed to meet him during spring training this year. Ronan, a lifelong Yankees fan, works part-time as a cook at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Ronan said Sanford agreed to meet him on multiple occasions, but strung him along.
“Then he ghosted me,” Ronan said, adding: “He got a bit nasty with me about it.”
Wild. And tough timing for Sanford, too. The Titans are scheduled to play at the New York Boulders and Sussex County Miners in late May/early June. You know the local papers are going to be parachuting in to ask a few questions.
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]