Toronto

Toronto Blue Jays player accused of skipping on rent pays up

With the Jays back in Toronto and practicing at the Rogers Centre, Ryan "Rowdy" Tellez has paid his landlord $16,400 to cover his rent payments through the end of September, when the lease on a two-bedroom downtown Toronto condo is set to expire.

Ryan 'Rowdy' Tellez settles dispute, pays Toronto landlord $16,400

Ryan 'Rowdy' Tellez, centre, has paid his landlord the rent money he was owing after returning to Canada. However, it's unclear when he might be able to actually use the downtown Toronto condo. (Will Newton/Getty Images)

The ongoing dispute between Toronto Blue Jays player Ryan "Rowdy" Tellez, and his Toronto landlord has been resolved.

CBC News has learned with the Jays back in Toronto and practicing at the Rogers Centre, Tellez paid his landlord $16,400 to cover his rent payments through the end of September, when the lease on a two-bedroom downtown Toronto condo is set to expire.

"I'm very pleased Mr. Tellez has paid his lease agreement in full through till the end of September," landlord Linda Pinizzotto told CBC News.

"We were able to finalize his payment through his legal representative in a friendly manner."

Pinizzotto, who first told CBC Toronto about the issue in June, declined to comment further.

Tellez returned to Toronto on Sunday but has yet to step foot in the condo or pick up the keys, despite signing a lease back in January. During the time he was refusing to pay, Tellez argued through his Florida-based lawyer that because COVID-19 had suspended the baseball season and he was stuck living in the U.S., he shouldn't have to pay rent in Toronto.  

WATCH | Blue Jays players in Toronto preparing for upcoming shortened MLB season:

Major League Baseball training camps are now open. Toronto Blue Jays players have arrived in Toronto for team workouts that could be held as early as Monday at Rogers Centre. The shortened season is set to resume but without any fans in the stands. 8:14

Currently, the Jays players who had been training in Florida are isolating at the Toronto Marriott City Centre Hotel, which is attached to the Rogers Centre, where they've been cleared to practice.

At least one Jays player is still in Florida after testing positive for COVID-19, although the team won't say who that is.

The Blue Jays were granted special permission to return to Canada by local, provincial and federal officials to conduct pre-season training.

The Blue Jays are still awaiting clearance to play home games in Toronto. A shortened Major League Baseball season is set to begin on July 23, and manager Charlie Montoyo says the team is hungry to play.

Coach still not paying his rent

Tellez wasn't the only Blue Jay accused of not paying rent.

First base coach Mark Budzinski is still locked in a dispute with his landlord, Derrick Thomas.

Budzinski signed a six-month lease with Thomas earlier this year, but after making three payments, he stopped paying his $3,100 a month rent for a condo a block from Rogers Centre.

Toronto's Vladimir Guerrero Jr., right, stands beside first base coach Mark Budzinski. (Fred Thornhill/Canadian Press )

Budzinski is currently taking Thomas to Ontario's Landlord and Tenant Board, which handles rental disputes.

He wants the $9,300 he's paid in rent so far returned, and the remainder of the six-month lease terminated.

Budzinski has argued he was unable to use the condo due to border restrictions and the fact the baseball season was on hold.

A date has yet to be set for the hearing. His legal representative has told CBC News, the coach will respect any decision the board makes.

It's unclear if Budzinski is in Toronto or if he remains in Florida.

The Blue Jays did not respond to prior questions about the rent situations.

About the Author

John Lancaster

Senior Reporter, CBC Toronto

John Lancaster is a senior reporter with CBC News focusing on investigative and enterprise journalism. His stories have taken him across Canada, the US and the Caribbean. His reports have appeared on CBC Toronto, The National, CBC's Marketplace, The Fifth Estate-and of course CBC online and radio. Drop him a line anytime at john.lancaster@cbc.ca.

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