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Fausto Carmona's False Identity Arrest Puts Spring Training Status In Jeopardy

As you have probably been made aware of by now, Cleveland Indians pitcher Fausto Carmona was arrested in the Dominican Republic while leaving an American consulate, where he was going to renew his visa so he could return to the U.S. for Spring Training. Carmona was arrested for allegedly using a false identity, the reports indicating that Carmona is really Roberto Hernandez Heredia, age 31, not 28.

The Cleveland Indians have obviously heard about the arrest, but did not have much else to say. With exactly a month before pitchers report, the Indians now have little time to decide what to do with the pitcher who won 19 games in 2007 and was retained for 2012 at $7 million. MLB.com's Jordan Bastian goes through the team's potential upcoming course of action(s):

One possibility for the Tribe is to place Carmona, whose $7 million club option for 2012 was picked up on Oct. 31, on Major League Baseball's restricted list until the situation is resolved. Players on the restricted list do not count toward a team's 25-man or 40-man roster, do not receive pay and are not permitted to sign with another club.

That was the route the Marlins took when dealing with a similar situation. [...]

Right now, it is not known if the Indians would simply be able to void Carmona's contract, or if the club would go down that route if allowed.

That "similar situation" is what the Marlins are still dealing with. Leo Nunez/Juan Carlos Oviedo, who the Marlins just signed to a $6 millon contract to avoid arbitration, is still sorting out his visa issues four months later. That should give you an idea about Carmona's status going forward.

For more on Fausto Carmona, or whoever he is, check out SB Nation's Indian's blog, Let's Go Tribe. You can also check out news as it happens on Baseball Nation

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.