Royals were aware of Peguero's wife's legal issues

Kansas City Royals assistant GM J.J. Picollo says the club did its research on new outfielder Carlos Peguero and determined he had no involvement in a case involving $180,000 in unauthorized charges on the credit card of Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez's wife. Maria Peguero

The Royals knew about Carlos Peguero's wife's legal issues before obtaining him from the Mariners on Wednesday.

Jim Cowsert / USA TODAY Sports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Royals were aware of the legal issues facing the wife of former Seattle outfielder Carlos Peguero before they acquired him Wednesday.

Peguero's wife, Maria, was charged last October with three counts of wire fraud for allegedly charging $180,000 worth of unauthorized credit card purchases while using a card that belonged to the wife of Mariners star pitcher Felix Hernandez.

Maria Peguero, 22, is free on bond. All of the purchases were made in 2012 from Saks Fifth Avenue.

Maria Peguero, wife of Carlos Peguero.

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Carlos Peguero, 26, was not charged in the case and reportedly told authorities that his wife told him that her brother worked for Saks.

"We knew about that situation after doing our research," Royals assistant general manager J.J. Picollo said by phone. "We were confident that Carlos had no involvement in the matter.

"We have every confidence that Carlos will be a great addition to our organization."

Peguero hit 19 homers and drove in 83 runs for Triple-A Tacoma in 2013. In 2009 in the minors, he hit 31 homers and drove in 98 runs.

Through parts of three seasons with the Mariners, Peguero has hit .195 with nine homers and 27 RBIs.

"He's definitely a guy with above-average power," Picollo said. "Those guys can be hard to find, so we've always had an eye on him and looked for an opportunity when he might be available."

Peguero was out of options and would have needed to make the Mariners' 25-man roster out of spring training. The Mariners designated him for assignment on Jan. 16 when they acquired catcher John Buck and put Buck on the 40-man roster.

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