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

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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.

Dominic Smith likely to start the season at Triple-A

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Following the Mets’ recent signing of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that fellow first baseman Dominic Smith is likely to start the season with Triple-A Las Vegas. That is contingent, of course, on the veteran Gonzalez’s ability to remain healthy, which isn’t a guarantee.

Smith, 22, struggled last season, batting .198/.262/.395 in 183 plate appearances. The Mets have also expressed concern about Smith’s conditioning. Puma reported in November that as a result of better dietary choices and a daily exercise regimen, Smith had already lost 11-12 pounds.

Gonzalez, 35, didn’t exactly have a stellar 2017 campaign. Along with battling back issues, Gonzalez hit .242/.287/.355 in 252 PA. That the Mets’ Plan A is to go with Gonzalez over Smith says something about their confidence in Smith.