The Mariners knew all about Josh Lueke's 96-mph fastball when they acquired him from the Texas Rangers in the Cliff Lee deal. But Mariners executives insisted they knew nothing before the July 9 trade about the 25-year-old minor leaguer facing felony charges in a rape and sodomy case in which he later pleaded no contest to a lesser charge.
However, new information appears to contradict the Mariners' original version of events. Former Mariners pitching coach Rick Adair said he told general manager Jack Zduriencik about Lueke's troubles well before the deal. And contrary to Mariners claims that there was nothing they could do after the trade, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said he made a standing offer that night to take Lueke back.
Police and court documents show Lueke lied multiple times to police investigating the suspected May 2008 sexual assault of an unconscious 22-year-old woman in a Bakersfield, Calif., apartment shared by the pitcher and his Class A teammates.