Fausto Carmona, whose real name is reportedly Roberto Hernandez Heredia, was arrested in the Dominican Republic on Thursday for allegedly falsifying his identity. We’re slowly learning more details about how he was exposed.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez reported on “Outside the Lines” yesterday that Carmona was outed several weeks ago on a popular radio show in Santo Domingo by the mother of the real Fausto Carmona.
You can watch video of Gomez’s report here.
The belief is that Carmona has been paying the family of the real Carmona for the use of his identification and refused to increase hush money payments after the Indians picked up his $7 million club option for 2012 in October. Carmona made $6.1 million with the Indians last season. The U.S. government began an investigation after Carmona was outed on the radio show and he was arrested when he went to apply for his work visa earlier this week.
Carmona was released from jail yesterday on $13,000 bond. He’s actually 31 years old, three years older than previously believed, so many have wondered whether the Indians have just cause to void his contract. According to the Associated Press, Indians general manager Chris Antonetti refused to comment on the situation yesterday, only saying that they are “still gathering information.”
At the very least, it appears the Indians are preparing for the possibility that Carmona will not be granted entry into the United States in time for the start of the season. The club acquired right-hander Kevin Slowey from the Rockies yesterday as some insurance for their starting rotation.
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.