(UPDATED: 1 p.m.)
The Braves traded Jordan Schafer to Houston despite believing he could still be a valuable part of their future because they were able to land a proven veteran, Michael Bourn, in return. But Schafer’s future just got a little more cloudy.
The Astros’ center fielder and former Braves’ top prospect was arrested early Tuesday in Tampa on a felony marijuana possession charge.
The St. Petersburg Times first reported Schafer was arrested at 1:59 a.m. at the address for The Cheesecake Factory restaurant. He was released from jail at 5:15 a.m. on $2,000 cash bond.
Schafer was found in possession of 25.9 grams of marijuana. In the state of Florida, more than 20 grams is considered a third-degree felony. According to the police report, officers conducted a traffic stop after smelling what seemed to be marijuana coming out of Schafer’s car, and upon pulling him over found him with a joint in his hand.
An email to a Times reporter from the Tampa Police Dept. indicated officers also found “three small Marijuana peanut butter cups which contained 247.8 milligrams of Marijuana, according to its packaging.”
Let me just say this about Schafer: I’ve always liked him personally, and he was well-liked in the Braves’ clubhouse this season. Veterans, most notably Chipper Jones, believed he had turned the corner in his life and career after originally seeming too cocky when he first came up from the minors a few years ago.
Schafer was suspended for 50 games in 2008 for being found in violation of major league baseball’s drug policy. But the circumstances of that suspension always were cloudy — he never was tested — and Schafer disputed that he took performance-enhancing drugs.
Schafer, who maintains a home in Haines City, Fla. (south of Orlando), also battled a lot of injury problems with the Braves. He hit .240 with 15 stolen bases in 52 games before being traded to Houston, where he hit .245 with seven stolen bases in 30 games.
He now has another obstacle to overcome.
By Jeff Schultz