Fausto Carmona arrested in Dominican Republic for using false identity

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Jorge Arangure of ESPN.com passes along word from reporter Yancen Pujols that Indians right-hander Fausto Carmona was arrested in the Dominican Republic and is being charged with using a false identity.

According to Pujols, Dominican police arrested Carmona–whose real name is apparently Roberto Hernandez Heredia–while he was leaving the American consulate after renewing his visa.

Last month Marlins reliever Leo Nunez was arrested in the Dominican Republic when it was discovered that his real name is Juan Carlos Oviedo.

Oviedo was later released from jail and the incident didn’t stop the Marlins from tendering him a contract and signing him for $6 million to avoid arbitration, so based on how that played out Carmona/Heredia may not be in serious trouble either. However, he may struggle to get a visa in time for spring training.

Carmona/Heredia finished fourth in the Cy Young award voting in 2007, going 19-6 with a 3.06 ERA in 215 innings as a 23-year-old rookie, although now perhaps he wasn’t actually 23 and since then he has a 5.01 ERA in 645 innings. Back in October the Indians exercised their $7 million option on Carmona/Heredia despite his 5.25 ERA in 32 starts last season.

UPDATE: Dionisio Soldevilla of the Associated Press reports that Carmona/Heredia is actually 31 years old, not 28 as everyone believed. That means his standout rookie season came at age 26 and could give the Indians a way to void his contract.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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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.