The baseball career of Leo Nunez has turned into the curious case of Juan Carlos Oviedo.
The Miami Marlins’ relief pitcher is back in the United States after being caught using a fake name in September 2011 and having to remain in the Dominican Republic to resolve his identity and immigration issues.
Oviedo was born in Bonao, Dominican Republic in 1982. When Oviedo was 17 years old he took the identity of childhood friend Leo Nunez, who was a year younger. Oviedo according to sources, wanted to be younger to earn a larger contract from MLB, and changed his name and age. Oviedo was 17-years-old at the time and claiming to be 16-years-old potentially earned him a $100,000 to $150,000 bigger signing bonus.
Oviedo is happy to be back in America after he feared his MLB career would be over. Also, he is proud that he is using his original name because it was his father’s name.
Oviedo has to serve a suspension until July 22 for engaging in age and identity fraud, according to the Miami Marlins. He has picked up 92 saves for the Marlins in the last three seasons. He will likely slide into a setup role with Heath Bell as the closer in Miami.