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.

Report: Major League Baseball bans transactions with Mexican League teams

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Major League Baseball has banned all transactions with Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB), popularly known as the Mexican League. As of now, all 30 teams are prohibited from signing players under contract with LMB teams. The ban was issued due to Major League Baseball’s contention that “corruption” and “fraud” run rampant in the player acquisition process.

Passan describes the issues in detail, and they sound pretty compelling. The upshot: LMB clubs — which have full control over their players — are taking advantage of them, taking most if not all of the signing bonuses MLB teams give them after negotiating for their rights. Mexican teams often sign players when they’re 15 years-old so that, once they are old enough for American teams to approach them, they’re in the position to take a usurious cut.

Passan says Major League Baseball is demanding greater transparency from LMB before it’s willing to lift the ban. He also says that the MLBPA is in “lockstep” with Major League Baseball on the matter, which makes sense given that, if MLB’s claims are accurate, players are being exploited here. He also says that if LMB does not change its ways, there is a “Plan B,” though it’s not clear what that is.

There aren’t a ton of Mexican players signed by MLB teams each year, but there are enough to make this a significant issue that is worth watching.