Once a major issue in professional baseball is back in the national spotlight. Age and identity fraud among baseball players in the Dominican Republic have made a resurgence, according to a report by The Athletic. One of the teams implicated in the most recent wave of incidents is the New York Mets.
Mets Under Investigation for International Prospect's Age Fraud
The international signing period, beginning on January 15 can mark the beginning of an exciting journey for young baseball players around the world. According to the rules, a 16-year-old who turns 17 before Sept. 1 of the following year can sign with a major league team. Every winter, many talented teenagers sign lucrative deals with various MLB clubs.
However, this practice unfortunately opens the door for predatory practices. Agents and families lying about a player's age and identity to secure a deal during the international signing period have long been an issue.
One of the players the Mets signed in the international signing period in 2023 is allegedly under investigation by Major League Baseball for this practice. Apart from the Mets, Astros, Royals, Twins, and Athletics are also mentioned in the article.
According to The Athletic, the Mets were among the teams to learn that a player they reached an agreement with was older than previously believed. The Mets declined to comment but once the investigation concludes, the player in question is likely to be suspended.
Since January 15 of this year, New York signed a number of exciting prospects, including catcher Yovanny Rodriguez to a $2.85 million signing bonus, and Hall-of-Famer Vladimir Guerrero's son.