According to the Associated Press, Roberto Hernandez Heredia struck a deal to have his false identity charges dropped in exchange for completing a work program in his native Dominican Republic.
Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, was placed on baseball’s restricted list in January after he was arrested for faking his identity. He is currently preparing for the season at the Indians’ complex in the Dominican and hoped to receive a judicial pardon in order to resume his playing career in the United States. We don’t know the details of the work program yet and he may still have trouble obtaining a visa, so the timeline for his return is unclear.
The Indians picked up Hernandez’s $7 club million option last October, but he won’t be paid as along as he remains on the restricted list.
Update (5:16 PM ET): ESPN’s Pedro Gomez is reporting that the deal is final.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox and outfielder J.D. Martinez are close to a deal. He takes care to note that the deal is not done yet and the details are not known yet.
Martinez, 30, entered the offseason as the top free agent hitter. Last season, between the Tigers and Diamondbacks, he hit a lusty .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 489 plate appearances. He missed the first 33 games of the season with a sprained right foot; one wonders what his numbers might’ve been like if he hadn’t been injured.
The Red Sox were the team most strongly linked to Martinez throughout the offseason, despite the relatively slow-moving market. Martinez said he wants to play in the outfield and the Red Sox are currently spoken for at all three positions with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, and Mookie Betts. Hanley Ramirez is also penciled in at DH. Should the Martinez deal become official, the Red Sox may try to trade Bradley and move Benintendi to center field. If Martinez is willing to concede his outfield wishes, the Red Sox could slot him in at DH and move Ramirez to first base.
The AL East is shaping up to be a familiar two-horse race between the Red Sox and Yankees. The addition of Martinez, in a way, answers the Yankees’ addition of Giancarlo Stanton.