The Yankees may not be able to afford Johnny Damon anymore, but they will have to dig around in their pockets to find $700,000 for their former Latin American scouting director.
According to court documents obtained by ESPN The Magazine, Carlos Rios, an employee of the Yankees for nine years, was awarded the money for damages after the team fired him in 2008. The $700,000 is the amount Rios would have made with his contract with the club, which prior to his firing, would have lasted until 2012.
Rios was accused of taking approximately $135,000 from the signing bonuses of Kelvin De Leon and Elio de la Rosa in 2007. The court decision does not have an impact on the suspension imposed on Rios by Major League Baseball. Rios wants to get back involved in baseball, but he won’t be turning down the check from the biggest spenders in the MLB.
“Hopefully, I'll get to close this chapter, and the Yankees can continue to sign players in Latin American and continue to be a quality organization, and I can continue my career in baseball,” Rios told the magazine.
The damages awarded to Rios are the second such payment the Yankees have had to dole out. They settled out of court with former Dominican scouting supervisor Ramon Valdivia, who was fired in the same scandal backlash as Rios after an MLB investigation by Victor Burgos. The investigation was triggered by an anonymous letter sent to the Yankees.