The World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies are relieving one of their key bullpen pitchers, whose cash is frozen in the wake of the alleged $8 billion fraud committed by R. Allen Stanford.
The Phillies yesterday said they would advance Scott Eyre an undisclosed amount of his $2 million salary in order to tide him over until his Stanford account becomes available, according to the Associated Press.
Mr. Eyre, a left-hander who went 3-0 with a 1.88 earned run average after arriving from the Chicago Cubs in August, declared Monday that he was broke.
“I’ll pay [the Phillies] back whenever I can. I invested in [the Houston-based Stanford Financial Group] three years ago [and] thought it was too good to be true — and it was,” he told the Associated Press yesterday evening.
The Securities and Exchange Commission raided the Houston offices of the three Stanford companies — including the broker-dealer Stanford Group Co. — Feb. 17 and froze their assets. That has left thousands of desperate investors in the lurch, including a handful of Major League Baseball players.
Meanwhile, Scott Boras, who represents baseball superstars Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez, told The New York Times yesterday that the ballplayers will get their money back soon. Mr. Boras has a few clients tied up in Stanford, including Johnny Damon and Xavier Nady of the New York Yankees. Mr. Rodriguez and Mr. Ramirez have not been mentioned as victims of the alleged fraud.
Like Mr. Eyre, those players’ advisers worked for the Stanford broker-dealer. It was not clear whether they had invested in the allegedly phony certificates of deposit that are at the center of the scandal.
“There’s no risk of loss in their funds, but the government, in an attempt to protect everyone involved, put a wide net over the funds,” Mr. Boras said in an interview with the Times. “Then, of course, in a short period of time, that net will shrink.”
Mr. Eyre said he was speaking out in order to draw attention to the victims of the scandal. “It’s not just the big people — not that I consider myself big — but there are people out there without a voice,” the pitcher said to the AP. “I didn’t want this to be ‘The Woe is Scott Eyre Story.’”
He questioned the government’s decision to take the action it did, according to the report.
“I don’t think they needed to freeze everything — that’s just stupid,” Mr. Eyre said.
“What sucks is, there are people who invested with that [expletive deleted] Robert Allen Stanford’s group,” Mr. Eyre added. “He’s a billionaire. Does he really need to do a scam to make more money?”