Earlier this month the Yankees signed 16-year-old shortstop Damian
Arredondo of the Dominican Republic for $850,000, but the deal has been
voided because … well, it turns out that he’s not a 16-year-old or
even named Damian Arredondo.
Melissa Segura of SI.com reports
that MLB’s “department of investigations” discovered the falsified
information as part of their “increased efforts to deter identity fraud
in Latin America.” Whoever he turns out to be, the person formerly
known as Damian Arredondo won’t be allowed to sign with anyone for one
year and could face criminal charges.
Gary Sanchez’s identity has reportedly been verified after the 16-year-old catcher from the Dominican Republic signed with the Yankees for $3 million, but MLB is apparently still investigating 16-year-old Miguel Angel Sano while multiple teams vie for the right to pay him upwards of $4 million.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.