Major League Baseball often cites fraud as a major factor for wanting an international draft. If MLB can oversee the process, see, the excesses will be reduced. But who watches the watchmen?
A Major League Baseball investigator in the Dominican Republic has been charged with falsifying the identity of a prospect so the player could obtain a contract with a $135,000 signing bonus. Authorities accused Kleiber Miguel Bruno Gonzalez on Thursday of accepting $25,000 and conspiring with a scout and an independent trainer to alter the player’s identity.
I suppose we’re supposed to hate the game, not the players, but people are people and I have a hard time seeing how fraud and chicanery won’t persist any less under a draft than it does in the current system.
Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.
When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.
Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.