The Tigers of Quintana Roo (Los Tigres de Quintana Roo) of the unaffiliated triple-A Mexican League (Liga Mexicana de Béisbol) received a loan of one Ricardo Nanita from the Toronto Blue Jays (Los Azulejos de Toronto) according to a team announcement this Saturday. The Tigers were the 2013 Mexican League champions and are currently tied for first place in the South Division (Zona Sur) with a 21-18 record.
Player loans between teams in the major leagues are prohibited (although that time John McDonald was conditionally traded to the Detroit Tigers in 2005 was pretty close to a loan), but Rule 11(i)(2) permits players to be loaned at the minor league level. All they need is an OK from the Commissioner's Office, and all players must be duly returned to the original club by September 30.
Nanita, 32, has played in the minors since 2003 but has never played in the major leagues. He re-signed with the Blue Jays this January after Toronto offered him a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training. Nanita had limited action with the Buffalo Bisons this seasons (only appearing in six games) after he was placed on the disabled list on April 5 to make room for Juan Francisco. He was activated in mid-April but had been on the Bisons' temporary inactive list since May 7, when Shawn Hill was promoted to triple-A.
Of course, Blue Jays fans know Ricardo Nanita best for his clutch ninth-inning single that walked-off the Mets in game 1 of the pre-season Montreal series.
The Mexican League is not new for Nanita--he played for Veracruz, Monterrey, and Tabasco in 2009 and 2010 before returning to affiliated baseball in late August 2010 to help the Fisher Cats' pennant run. With the Tigres, Nanita will join the likes of Alfredo Amezaga, Fabio Castro, Karim Garcia (still playing!), and Victor Marte.
Although I've loved watching Nanita play in the past and would've liked to see him with the Bisons, if I had a choice to play a small role in Buffalo or a larger role in Cancún, I probably would have made the same decision.
That tweet suggests that Nanita might just return to Buffalo sometime this season--if the Bisons have hurtin' outfielders that need some healin', hopefully Ricardo will be there to take the their hand with his glove of love.