<
>

Minor leaguers' U.S. careers effectively over

The U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic has permanently banned 10 minor leaguers from receiving visas, effectively ending their careers in the United States, Baseball America is reporting.

The minor leaguers allegedly were caught in a fraudulant marriage scheme this offseason. Baseball America reported that the players were paid between $5,000 and $7,000 to get married, giving their new wife a visa. The bride and groom, who don't know each other, would then divorce soon after arriving in the United States. The player would then go on with his life, while the woman would keep the visa, possibly selling it on the black market.

An official with the embassy declined to name the 10 minor-league players.

Scouts and club officials told Baseball America that more than 30 players are believed to be under investigation for participating in the scheme.

"All of a sudden, lots of guys were showing up to get a visa, and 30 all got married three weeks ago. That kind of raised some eyebrows," a club official told Baseball America.

According to a statement released by the embassy, Major League Baseball was cooperating with the investigation.