Marlins optimistic for resolution with the man formerly known as Leo Nunez


The last we heard about Juan Carlos Oviedo — the man formerly known as Marlins’ closer Leo Nunez — he was back in the Dominican Republic working through legal issues after admitting in September that he faked his identity.

The Marlins provided a bit of an update on the matter this afternoon and while details were scarce, Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that team president Larry Beinfest is hopeful Oviedo’s situation will be resolved so that he will pitch in the majors next season.

“I’m not real comfortable going into the ins and outs of it, but we have been in communication with Baseball,” Beinfest said. “There’s been some work quietly on the immigration side and his status. He’s been very cooperative and the team has worked very hard to try to get clarity because I think it’s better for everybody, but yes, we do understand how we have to deal with him given his situation.

“We’re all hopeful he’s going to be back here as Juan Carlos Oviedo and back in the country and issued a visa, then we can work on the business side of it.”

Oviedo was placed on the restricted list in September, but is not expected to face any criminal charges in the Dominican Republic.

While Oviedo may pitch in the majors next season, it might not be with the Marlins. With his salary projected to fall in the $5-6 million range as a fourth-time arbitration-eligible player and the saturated market for closer-types this winter, there’s a pretty good chance he’ll be non-tendered before the December 12 deadline.

Jason Vargas fractured his non-pitching hand

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Mets left-hander Jason Vargas has a non-displaced fracture of the hamate bone in his right hand, the team announced Sunday. Vargas sustained the injury after taking a comebacker off of his hand on Friday and is expected to consult with a hand specialist later today as the team settles on a course of action. Comments from GM Sandy Alderson indicate that surgery is a possibility, though the left-hander may also pitch through it for the time being.

Vargas, 35, signed a two-year, $16 million pact with the team last month. He completed a four-year run with the Royals in 2017, earning his first career All-Star nomination with an 18-11 record in 32 starts and producing a 4.16 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 6.7 SO/9 over 179 2/3 innings. Prior to the incident, the southpaw was expected to help fill out the back end of the Mets’ Opening Day rotation.

Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News estimates that Vargas will likely miss the start of the season as he faces a two- to six-week recovery period. It’s a disappointing turn of events for a pitching staff that has been absolutely ravaged by injuries over the last couple of years.