Relief pitcher Ugueth Urbina, a free agent who was with the Philadelphia Phillies last season, was arrested and held yesterday pending a formal charge of attempted murder.
Last month, Urbina and a group of men allegedly attacked five workers with machetes and poured gasoline on them in an attempt to set them on fire. All five were injured, some of them with cuts and one with burns on the back and right arm, police said.
Urbina, who was detained late Monday, has insisted he had nothing to do with the violence at his family's ranch Oct. 16.
''Everything will be cleared up soon and people will know the truth," Urbina said from his cell at a police station. ''Right now we aren't going to do anything to deny things that aren't true."
Authorities said Urbina, who played for the Red Sox in 2001-02, would be formally charged once he appears before a judge.
Urbina's lawyer, Jose Luis Tamayo, said the pitcher was sleeping at the time of the incident and was not involved. One victim, Argenis Farias, has accused Urbina of being among the attackers.
Urbina was traded from Detroit to Philadelphia in the middle of last season.
Based on comments by Phillies general manager Pat Gillick, Urbina's days in Philadelphia likely are over. ''He's got a little bit of baggage," Gillick said at the general managers' meeting in California. ''We don't need any distractions."
This was the second violent incident in a little more than a year for the Urbina family. Urbina's mother was kidnapped by drug traffickers in September 2004 and held for a $6 million ransom. She was rescued five months later.