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Report: MLB is investigating the age of Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz

Jan 25, 2013, 9:49 PM EDT

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Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz has drawn interest from multiple MLB teams this winter, but his situation just got a bit more complicated. According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, MLB is currently investigating his age.

At issue is that Diaz is presenting himself as a 23-year-old born on January 8, 1990. However, one report suggests that he was born on August 1, 1990, which would make him 22. There is also a roster for the 2010 Pan-American games which says he was born in 1991.

Whether Diaz is 23 or younger is pretty significant if you consider that MLB teams are now limited by an international spending cap. It’s $2.9 million for each team during the 2011-2012 international spending period. However, Cuban players with at least three years of professional experience and who are at least 23 are exempt from those bonus pools. In other words, Diaz could stand to make a lot more money if he’s 23 as opposed to 22 or 21.

MLB has yet to rule on whether Diaz is exempt from the bonus pools and they also want him to present an unblocking license from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) before he can sign with a team. In the meantime, Diaz has established residency in Mexico.

  1. djpostl - Jan 25, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    Wow. Is this the first known attempt by a player to make themselves appear older than they really are?

    • robmoore - Jan 26, 2013 at 8:15 AM

      Adrian Beltre was a year younger than initially thought, if my memory servies me right. I think one of the shortstops comiong up around the same time had the same issue. Maybe Rafael Furcal? Basically, they were 15 year olds not yet eligible to sign, so they said they were 16. It is pretty rare, though.

      • djpostl - Jan 26, 2013 at 1:58 PM

        Furcal did the traditional thing. He said he was younger until he got an underage DUI at the “age of 19″. He then fessed up to Avoid the additional charges.

        Beltre claimed the Dodgers made the changes to his paperwork, not him. He even had Boras try to void his contract and get him made an unrestricted free agent after his first full year in the bigs (he hit around .280, banged out 15+ HRs).

  2. tfbuckfutter - Jan 25, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    The investigation will just end up showing he is actually Jose Contreras.

  3. dan1111 - Jan 26, 2013 at 3:59 AM

    International spending cap? What is this garbage?

    I suppose the justification is that it will prevent big-money teams from signing every single good player. But in reality, it may make it even harder for small market and rebuilding teams to succeed, because they won’t be able to offer extra money to attract the young talent they need. If every team can basically offer you the same amount of money, who are you going to sign with: the Yankees or the Astros?

    And more importantly, it prevents these talented players from getting the salary the market says they deserve. Instead this money–by sheer coincidence, I’m sure–is saved for the insiders who negotiated the agreement: owners and current players.

    • djpostl - Jan 26, 2013 at 2:01 PM

      Nope. The international spending cap, the MLB draft bonus limits and most of the other CBA changes, were designed to make sure current MLB players & vets got an even bigger chunk of money spent on salaries.

      All in all it’s viewed as having more of a negative impact on small to mid-market teams because they can’t compete on the free agent market, but they could get creative in drafting and going the international route.

      • djpostl - Jan 26, 2013 at 2:03 PM

        The “nope” was reference the failed justification lol, damn phone cut off half a sentence on me. You indeed hit the nail on the head. People think it means one thing but in reality it is having the opposite effect.

  4. louhudson23 - Jan 26, 2013 at 6:12 AM

    The Baseball Network,steroids blindfold,inter-league play,expanded and re-expanded playoffs,contrived 15 team per league scheduling…..the list of Bud Selig’s idiotic move is a long one. So,questioning the logic of this rule set is the natural reaction….

  5. dondada10 - Jan 26, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Does anybody have any news of Daniel Alvarez? He was the Cuban outfielder who defected last year. I haven’t heard a thing since.

  6. iamjimmyjack - Jan 26, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    Come to LA!

  7. iamjimmyjack - Jan 26, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    Dondada, he signed with the dodgers…

  8. iamjimmyjack - Jan 26, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    Dan1111 u make a great point. Never thought of that.

  9. manchestermiracle - Jan 26, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    What? No jokes about birth certificates? You guys are disappointing today….

  10. dexterismyhero - Jan 28, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    Is Ozzie managing Fidel’s team yet?

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