Twins infielder Miguel Sano and a lawyer in his hometown exchanged frightening accusations Tuesday, a newspaper in the Dominican Republic reported.
El Nuevo Diario said Sano postponed a Wednesday news conference that would have explained his side of a dispute in which he is accused of kidnapping a man in San Pedro de Macoris six weeks ago. Sano also said he was being blackmailed.
A lawyer, Odalis Ramos, posted a video Tuesday accusing Sano and three friends of kidnapping his client, Raudy Omar Sanchez de la Cruz, beating him and threatening to hang him May 6.
Sano denied the accusation and responded by telling the newspaper that Sanchez de la Cruz was involved in a sexual assault of Sano’s young stepbrother.
A Twins spokesman said the team is aware of the allegations and trying to gather information.
No charges have been filed in the case; El Nuevo Diario said Sano and his friends had been summoned to the San Pedro prosecutor’s office Tuesday but did not go. Ramos said a hearing was postponed until June 25.
Sano accused the lawyer of requesting 10 million pesos ($170,000) to drop the accusations.
“They are looking for money,” Sano told El Nuevo Diario sports editor William Aish. Sano said he didn’t go to the prosecutor’s office because the request came too late for him to act, adding he would sue Ramos for $500,000.
Sano, 27, was an All-Star third baseman for the Twins in 2017 before slumping in 2018 and being sent to the minors. He rebounded last season with 34 home runs in 105 games as the Twins set a major league record with 307 home runs and won the American League Central Division title.
Sano signed a three-year, $30 million contract in the offseason. With the addition of free agent Josh Donaldson, Sano was set to move from third base to first base this season.
The 6-4, 260-pounder’s 2019 season started two months late as he recovered from a leg cut caused when he slipped on metal stairs during a celebration ceremony for San Pedro de Macoris’ Dominican League winter baseball title. After the cut was stitched, it became infected and a debridement procedure was needed after he reported to spring training.
Sano is in the Dominican Republic because baseball has been on hiatus since mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.