Indians restructure Fausto Carmona’s contract amid false identity charges

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Fausto Carmona agreed to participate in a work program in exchange for false identity charges being dropped in the Dominican Republic, but the story is hardly over.

Carmona has yet to receive clearance for a visa and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the man now known as Roberto Hernandez Heredia has agreed to have his contract restructured by the Indians.

No word yet on the specifics because the Indians are so far declining to comment, but Carmona/Heredia was set to earn $7 million this season and his contract also includes a $9 million option for 2013 and a $14 million option for 2014.

According to Heyman the restructuring involves eliminating one of those options, which presumably must be 2014. And regardless of whatever his restructured salary is, Carmona/Heredia won’t make any money until he returns to the United States and is removed from the restricted list.

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

2017 Preview: The National League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East

The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.

There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.

Here’s how each team breaks down:

Washington Nationals
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves