Six Ex-Cards Busted in Venezuelan Fraud Case

Publisher and editor
Posted Nov 10, 2010


Six former St. Louis Cardinals farmhands have been nailed in an age and identity fraud crackdown by MLB in Venezuela.

In a Wednesday press release, Major League Baseball announced initial results from the expansion of their efforts to reduce age and identity fraud beyond their prior focus in the Dominican Republic. Specifically, six free agents from Venezuela have been deemed ineligible to sign for one year while another player currently under contract has been placed on the disqualified list for one year.

The six free agents who falsified their age and/or identity are all former members of the St. Louis Cardinals organization. Two were released 13 months ago, last October, and the other four were cut loose in May.

None of the players, two left-handed pitchers, two right-handers, a catcher and a shortstop, were top performers on the field for the Cardinals and are not currently under contract with a major league organization.

They are Ruben Alvarado, Fabian Marquez (called Fabian Marquea in the release), Osmir Medina, Sergio Nieves (called Serio Nieves in the release), Omar Viloria and Jose Ramon Weffer.

All six were signed by St. Louis between July 2007 and July 2008 and presented documentation that stated their age was either 16 or 17 at the time. Each played either one or two seasons for the Venezuelan Summer League Cardinals, but did not appear in the US.

Name Pos'n  Stated DOB Signed VSL Released
Ruben Alvarado LHR 7/19/1991 7/19/2007 2008/09 10/2009
Fabian Marquez RHR 8/18/1991 11/4/2007 2008/09 10/2009
Osmir Medina SS 11/27/1990 2/27/2008 2008/09 05/2010
Sergio Nieves RHS 10/18/1991 7/12/2008 2009 05/2010
Omar Viloria C 1/23/1990 11/24/2007 2008/09 05/2010
Jose Weffer LHP 5/12/1992 7/2/2008 2009 05/2010

The ineligible players’ actual names and/or correct ages were not disclosed. A Cardinals official contacted Wednesday night would not immediately comment on the announcement, but this article will be updated on Thursday when the organization issues a statement.

The seventh player, Erickson Salaya of the Milwaukee Brewers organization, was found to have falsified his age in connection with his current Minor League contract.



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Selected TCN content appears at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

© 2010 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Related Stories
Cardinals Release Nine, Sign Nine More
 -by TheCardinalNation.com  May 18, 2010
Cardinals Release Seven from VSL and DSL
 -by TheCardinalNation.com  Oct 19, 2009
Cardinals Name Lilliqiust Bullpen Coach
 -by TheCardinalNation.com  Nov 2, 2010

PREMIUM SUBSCRIPTION INCLUDES
> Members-only Forums
> Insider Information
> MiLB &
   MLB Draft News
> Expert Chats

Sign Up Today!

Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from TheCardinalNation.com. Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Players to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite players. Click name to add to My HotList.
P Ruben Alvarado (profile)
P Fabian Marquez (profile)
IF Osmir Medina (profile)
P Sergio Nieves (profile)
C Omar Viloria (profile)
P Jose Weffer (profile)
[View My HotList]
Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Baseball > St. Louis
[View My HotList]