The Curious Case of Carlos Matias, or Should We Say Carlos Martinez

By Shaun P Kernahan
Carlos Martinez
H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

Back in 2009, the Boston Red Sox signed a little known prospect by the name of Carlos Matias for $140,000.  The 17 year old was a slim six foot tall pitcher who was already throwing the ball 92 mph with an easy projection of getting up to 95 or higher while having the ability to throw a breaking ball and good feel of a change up.

Matias showed up to the Red Sox Dominican Academy and began working with the team when Major League Baseball conducted its standard background check.  In the background check, they discovered Matias was not Carlos’ real last name. Instead that was the last name of his uncle who raised him after his mother passed when Carlos was just an infant.

Carlos’ real last name was Martinez, and baseball ruled he had submitted fraudulent documents and was suspended, leaving him unable to officially sign with a team for a year.  A year later, the rest of baseball had seen what the newly renamed Carlos Martinez could do.

Vice president of international scouting at the time for the Red Sox was Craig Shipley.  Shipley lobbied for baseball to force Martinez to honor the contract he had signed a year prior, which was turned down, and Shipley refused to open up negotiations with Martinez due to the fraud charges.

Martinez instead signed with the St. Louis Cardinals for $1.5 million.  Fast forward to the 2013 World Series, and the man once known to the Boston Red Sox as Carlos Matias is standing on the mound with the name Martinez on the back of his jersey and St. Louis on the front, firing 95 mph fastballs and disgusting sliders at Red Sox hitters.

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