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Padres prospect lied about age, identity for $1 million bonus

Oct 27, 2011, 4:02 PM EDT

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Three years ago 16-year-old Dominican middle infielder Alvaro Aristy signed with the Padres for $1 million as one of the top international prospects available that season.

Since then he’s hit .169 while failing to advance beyond rookie-ball and now Ben Badler of Baseball America reports that Aristy’s real name is Jorge Leandro Guzman and his real age at the time of the signing was 19.

MLB investigator Dan Mullin told Badler that they first got a tip about Aristy/Guzman in January of 2010 and he quickly fessed up, but because of an “administrative error” there was no immediate suspension.

Now he’s a 22-year-old rookie-ball hitter with a .169 career batting average and has played the past three seasons in the Dominican Summer League in part because he can’t obtain a work visa for the United States. Oh, and Aristy/Guzman was also suspended 50 games in 2009 after testing positive for an anabolic steroid before anyone knew of his faked identity.

Badler’s article is definitely worth reading for all the weird details, but the good news for the Padres is that they recouped most of the $1 million signing bonus thanks to an insurance policy.

  1. clydeserra - Oct 27, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    “The good news for the Padres, and MLB, is that this shady system of recruiting is remains unchanged.”


  2. leerosenthall - Oct 27, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    Not surprised at all after watching this “Dan Rather Reports” the other day. It’s a year old now, but sounds like nothing much has changed.

    “Field of Broken Dreams”

    • leerosenthall - Oct 27, 2011 at 4:47 PM

      More here:

  3. brewcrewfan54 - Oct 27, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    The full article ends with the Padres getting 90% of their money back, the kid gets to keep his million and he’s going to continue on in tje padre organization. So I guess there’s no reason for any of these guys to quit trying to do this. The artist formerly known as Leo Nunez will have a job next spring also.

  4. sfbookreviews - Oct 28, 2011 at 12:03 AM

    As long as you keep handing millions of dollars up front to 16 year olds in a country famous for shoddy paperwork, don’t expect this to stop any time soon.

  5. oasdpppme - Oct 28, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    Hold on…..the kid only received $10,000 of his million dollar bonus. Dave Wilder and Jose Rijo split the balance.

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