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Marlins optimistic for resolution with the man formerly known as Leo Nunez

Nov 1, 2011, 9:00 PM EDT

leo nunez getty Getty Images

The last we heard about Juan Carlos Oviedo — the man formerly known as Marlins’ closer Leo Nunez — he was back in the Dominican Republic working through legal issues after admitting in September that he faked his identity.

The Marlins provided a bit of an update on the matter this afternoon and while details were scarce, Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that team president Larry Beinfest is hopeful Oviedo’s situation will be resolved so that he will pitch in the majors next season.

“I’m not real comfortable going into the ins and outs of it, but we have been in communication with Baseball,” Beinfest said. “There’s been some work quietly on the immigration side and his status. He’s been very cooperative and the team has worked very hard to try to get clarity because I think it’s better for everybody, but yes, we do understand how we have to deal with him given his situation.

“We’re all hopeful he’s going to be back here as Juan Carlos Oviedo and back in the country and issued a visa, then we can work on the business side of it.”

Oviedo was placed on the restricted list in September, but is not expected to face any criminal charges in the Dominican Republic.

While Oviedo may pitch in the majors next season, it might not be with the Marlins. With his salary projected to fall in the $5-6 million range as a fourth-time arbitration-eligible player and the saturated market for closer-types this winter, there’s a pretty good chance he’ll be non-tendered before the December 12 deadline.

  1. lyon810 - Nov 1, 2011 at 9:06 PM

    I tried calling Baseball earlier but I kept getting his voicemail. Baseball never returns my calls.

  2. cur68 - Nov 1, 2011 at 9:13 PM

    His stats are still there under “Leo Nunez” @ baseball ref. I hope he gets a clean rap-sheet when he’s back as Oviedo, just to mess with people. How will baseball ref handle this stuff, anyhow? Quotes around his old handle? Sign him up as ‘Juan Carlos “Leo Nunez” Oviedo’?

    • jwbiii - Nov 1, 2011 at 9:40 PM

      Look up Jairo Asencio a.k.a. Luis Valdez. His name is changed to his current one, his player id stays as it was, both his current former names find him, and his former name is listed lower on the page. Sort of.

      • cur68 - Nov 2, 2011 at 12:07 AM

        Thanks JW. Having a baseball career is not unlike having all yours sins and foibles made public, free for anyone with a computer to go have a look at and marvel at how you got away with what you got away with.

  3. Old Gator - Nov 1, 2011 at 9:33 PM

    Recalling what a huge pain in the ass it was trying to get my British bride her green card and then her citizenship (dear Buddha, those INS people are a bunch of sphincters), I figure Juan Carlos would be better off just legally changing his name to Leo Nuñez in the Dominican, hitching a ride on a weed torpedo to South Beach, and resuming life here under his original entry documents.

    • lazlosother - Nov 1, 2011 at 10:10 PM

      I have to say, I really enjoy it when you post.

  4. badmamainphilliesjamas - Nov 1, 2011 at 11:42 PM

    It’s been done in other sports. Remember Lew Alcindor? Cassius Clay?

    • brewcrewfan54 - Nov 2, 2011 at 1:17 AM

      Those guys legally changed their names and were both from this country. This is a completly different situation.

      • badmamainphilliesjamas - Nov 2, 2011 at 6:29 AM

        I was only referring to the stats and record books (see previous comments).

  5. brewcrewfan54 - Nov 2, 2011 at 1:15 AM

    While I don’t think he’s done anything terrible here the fact is he did something wrong. A story from last week had a Padre minor leaguer in a similar situation. Neither of these guys seem to be facing any consequences other than a little public humiliation. Public humiliation is not going to stop this from happening. What are they going to do that will?

  6. crash1582 - Nov 2, 2011 at 8:51 AM

    So Wait… you can lie about your name/age to MLB and the United States, live here illegally under a false name and still be allowed back into this country to make millions playing baseball? There was nothing truthful about this guy and should not be any representation on how baseball is played or run on the business side…Find another closer.

    • Old Gator - Nov 2, 2011 at 1:09 PM

      Sheesh, you sound like you think he’s a Mexican or something. It’s a cinch you don’t run a farm. Team.

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