Major League Baseball is investigating the age of Cuban free-agent shortstop Aledmys Diaz, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America. In a twist, MLB is investigating him for being younger than he presented himself, not older. Players usually try to make them themselves younger and more desirable to clubs.
Diaz, who defected to Mexico, presented himself as a 23-year-old born on Jan. 8, 1990. That date conflicts with other documents and sources, which indicate an Aug. 1, 1990, birthdate. That would make Diaz only 22 years old, which means he would be subject to the international spending caps put in place by the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement. Teams can sign players age 23 or older for any amount.
"I only go by the documentation that I have from the player," said Jaime Torres, Diaz's agent. "I've seen from different rosters, different ages for players in Cuba, so I don't pay much attention to what is put on the pages from Cuba ... Only the player and the family should know the correct date of birth, not the sports authority from Cuba, the Cuban government. What I have, showing his date of birth, is 1/8/90—January 8, 1990."
Torres added that MLB is insisting Diaz present an unblocking license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control before he can agree to a contract. Players can typically present an OFAC unblocking license or two permanent residency documents from a non-Cuba country, but MLB wants the former in this case. Badler says scouting reports on Diaz are "modest."
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