MLB Suspends Juan Carlos Oviedo

Major League Baseball has decided to hand Miami Marlins reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo a six week suspension once Oviedo is removed from the restricted list. Oviedo falsified his name on his work visa when he came over from the Dominican Republic. He used the name Leo Nunez for seven years.

Currently, Oviedo is in the Dominican Republic doing community service. That is required to acquire the visa. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the acquisition of the visa is inevitable. The biggest thing for the Marlins is that while Oviedo is on the restricted list, they are not required to pay any of Oviedo’s $6 million salary.

Oviedo has played seven seasons in the majors. He started with the Kansas City Royals in 2005 but was mainly used as a reliever until he was traded in 2008 from the Royals to the Marlins for first baseman Mike Jacobs. Oviedo was placed in the closer role and in 2009 he saved 26 games. In 2011 he saved 36 games. However, Oviedo’s ERA ballooned to 4.36.

Oviedo was placed on the restricted list at the end of September 2011 and did not face any charges for identity fraud. The Marlins did sign Oviedo to a one-year deal avoiding arbitration.

To replace Oviedo, the Marlins made one of their biggest splashes in free agency by signing Heath Bell to a three-year pact with Oviedo ready to become the setup man once he returns. For now, Ed Mujica is slated to take over that role. I’m sure Oviedo is itching to come back to play and will continue to be as good as he was in 2011.

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