An interesting story by Ben Badler about identity fraud in Latin America. Specifically, the Dominican Republic.
Players used to forge documents, but they started to get caught. Then they’d lie about their very identity, assuming that of an entirely different person, but then they’d get caught by DNA testing. Now they’re beating DNA testing by having entire families assume new identities:
So in addition to the player switching identities with a younger male, the mother of the player and the mother of the younger male also swap identities. When the player and his mother take a DNA test, they will match, of course. If the father is estranged from the mother and they were never married, the fathers don’t even need to swap identities because the player already has his mother’s surname. The family that gives up its identity is compensated for its cooperation.
At that point it takes detective work. Which is hard, because once you get into that it’s (a) expensive and difficuly; and (b) once again prone to having people lie and/or become casually complicit in the deception.
A good read about a tricky problem.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.
Update (5:20 PM EST): It’s a minor league contract, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. If he makes the major league roster, Saltalamacchia will earn $1.25 million with an additional $250,000 available through incentives.
The Blue Jays are close to a deal with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet is reporting.
Saltalamacchia, 31, hit a meager .171/.284/.346 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 292 plate appearances with the Tigers this past season. With Russell Martin getting regular playing time behind the plate, Saltalamacchia will serve as his understudy, pushing A.J. Jimenez and Juan Graterol down on the depth chart.
The veteran catcher isn’t far removed from being a productive backstop. He had an .805 OPS in 70 games with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 with an .804 OPS in 121 games.