Sep 21, 2010, 11:04 AM EST
Remember that big stink in early 2009 in which the Nats gave a big signing bonus to a guy who was found out to be four years older than they thought he was? And that he was, you know, a totally different person than they thought he was. Boy, was that embarrassing! But it gets worse: Nats’ personnel knew he was a fraud and didn’t say anything after they found out:
Carlos Alvarez, who was 20 when he passed himself off to the Nationals as 16-year-old prospect Esmailyn Gonzalez, testified in June in a Dominican appeals court that he told [Nats' DR coordinator Jose Baez] that he wasn’t in fact Gonzalez after he had signed with the team. Alvarez told the court that he confessed the fraud to Baez because the family who provided him with fake documents had tried to blackmail him. Nelson Tejada, the investigator for Major League Baseball who discovered the fraud, testified that “Baez told me that he knew of this name change” and that Baez’s mistake was “knowing [of the fraud] and not reporting it.”
Former GM Jim Bowden’s right-hand man Jose Rijo knew about it too, Alvarez testified. The FBI has been investigating this matter too, by the way, to see if any Nats employees committed fraud, so that’s fun too.
Just something to remind Nats fans that Mike Rizzo has a lot more to rebuild in this organization than just the major league roster.
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