SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Two top U.S. major league baseball officials will visit the Dominican Republic this week to investigate the case of an Arizona Diamondbacks prospect who allegedly used his nephew's identity to appear younger, an official said Tuesday.
Lou Melendez, vice president of international baseball
operations, and Ed Burns, vice president of baseball operations and
administration, will carry out their investigation starting
Thursday, said Rafael Perez, administrator of major league
baseball's office in Santo Domingo.
The visit is to last three days, he said.
Birth records obtained by The Associated Press show that the
real name of pitching prospect Adriano Rosario is Ramon Antonio
Pena Paulino, and that he was born Jan. 9, 1982, making him 22. The
real Rosario, who is Pena's nephew, turned 19 last month, according
to the documents.
Pena, a hard-throwing right-hander, allegedly used his nephew's birth certificate to gain a $400,000 signing bonus with Arizona in 2002, the documents suggest.
The pitcher's agent, Scott Boras, has declined to comment on the matter.
Pena had a 3-3 record and 5.44 ERA in seven outings this season on Arizona's double-A team.
Pena has been in the Dominican Republic since May 14 dealing with "immigration issues," the Diamondbacks said in a statement.
Officials say Ivan Noboa, a local scout who found the pitcher,
was paid $100,000 for bringing the player to the Arizona academy
and another $100,000 for his share of the signing bonus.
Noboa is brother of Junior Noboa, director of operations for the Diamondbacks in Latin America.
"The kid was signed without violating any established
provision. There wasn't any irregular handling of the process,"
Junior Noboa said. "If anyone lied in this process, it certainly
After the signing, in June 2003, new rules were put in place
that bar such fees to local scouts, Perez said.