Photos and VideosMore Photos and Videos
Neither Leo Nunez nor Juan Carlos Oviedo will be with the Miami Marlins when the team opens the 2012 season on Wednesday. Though he is still in the Dominican Republic sorting out visa issues, Major League Baseball plans to suspend him for six weeks for playing under an assumed identity.
The Miami Herald reported Sunday that MLB has already told "several people" about the planned suspension. However, before he can even be suspended Oviedo must first secure a U.S. visa so he can be removed from MLB's restricted list.
Last September, Oviedo abruptly left the Marlins for the Dominican Republic to turn himself into local authorities. While a teenager, Oviedo assumed the name Leo Nunez to make himself appear one year younger, and thus more attractive to MLB teams. The gambit worked then, but at the behest of his dying father, he came clean to authorities.
Nunez was never charged with any wrongdoing by Dominican authorities, but his visa was revoked, and he has yet to get one reissued. According to the Herald, he must complete some community service and conduct an interview as part of the visa application process.
While Oviedo is expected to eventually be allowed back into the U.S. to play baseball, it is not certain when that will actually take place. The Marlins signed Oviedo to a $6 million tender offer in January, but also acquired free agent closer Heath Bell over the winter.
It was originally thought that Oviedo would set up for Bell, but now someone else in the Marlins bullpen (likely Edward Mujica) will do that.
The Marlins will not have to pay Oviedo's salary while he remains on the restricted list or suspended. At $6 million for the season, at least the team will save a bunch of money because of the suspension.