Dominican players and identity fraud: “these are like time bombs”

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In the wake of the “Leo Nunez” and “Fausto Carmona” identity fraud incidents, the New York Times has a story in which people around baseball talk about how widespread the problem is feared to be:

Few in baseball were surprised that two well-established players had misrepresented themselves. The fear is that the problem could be much more widespread. One agent said more than a dozen players could soon lose their contracts because of age and identity issues.

“These are like time bombs,” Mark Newman, the Yankees’ senior vice president for baseball operations, said by telephone from the Dominican Republic while scouting there last week.

For his part Newman, as well as others in baseball, believe that the problem will get better. Still: as long as there are millions to be gained by an 18 or 19 year-old passing himself off as 16, this problem is going to persist.

Braves sign reliever Will Smith to three-year, $39 million contract

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The Braves announced on Thursday that the club has inked lefty reliever Will Smith to a three-year, $39 million contract with a club option for the 2023 season worth $13 million. Smith received a qualifying offer worth $17.8 million from the Giants, so he opted for a lower average annual value for a longer contract.

Smith, 30, was an All-Star last season with the Giants, finishing with 34 saves, a 2.76 ERA, and a 96/21 K/BB ratio across 65 1/3 innings. Across parts of seven seasons in the majors, he has a 3.53 ERA.

Smith, the top free agent left-handed reliever, will join a strong Braves bullpen which already includes Mark Melancon, Shane Greene, and Sean Newcomb.