Collectors in Facebook groups thought they’d found a minor league baseball player who was willing to help them land some game-used equipment from New York Yankees prospects. Now, that player has been released amid allegations he stole from teammates and left collectors hanging out to dry.
The discussion about Jake Sanford–a former third round draft pick–had been percolating since earlier this spring.
“Anyone wanna hear how I got scammed out of 600 by Jake Sanford of the Yankees? If he doesn’t pay up by tonight it will be over 2.5 months,” wrote collector Matt Shea on the Anything Goes Collectibles group May 9. Other collectors had been voicing similar experiences.
Sanford’s minor league bio disappeared and on Wednesday, NJ.com quoted a source with knowledge of the situation that Sanford had been cut by the Yankees “over allegations that he repeatedly hounded teammates for their equipment to sell online, while also occasionally swiping it from their lockers.”
Sanford, 24, was a native of Nova Scotia who was selected by the Yankees in the third round of the 2019 MLB Draft out of Western Kentucky. The Associated Press reported he had joined the Frontier League’s Ottawa Titans on Tuesday, but as of Wednesday night, he was not listed on the club’s roster.
Prior to this season, Sanford was considered one of the Yankees’ top 35 prospects. In 2021, he hit .285 with 16 homers, 61 RBI and a .823 OPS during play with two of the Yankees’ Class A minor league teams.