A top New York Yankees prospect is not who he claims to be, sources tell SI.com. Two weeks ago, the Yankees signed a shortstop purporting to be 16-year-old
The Yankees signed the player they thought was Arredondo on July 2, the first day that major league teams are permitted to sign international free agents as young as 16. The Yankees were impressed with the switch-hitter's strong arm and speed -- he reportedly ran a 60-yard-dash in 6.4 seconds.
According to a new Major League Baseball rule, a player found to have used a fraudulent identity or to have misrepresented his age cannot sign with another club for one year. Major League Baseball has recently increased its efforts to deter identity fraud in Latin America by hiring new investigators and dispatching other investigators from its New York City office to oversee the process.
In general, sources say that MLB will be working with authorities in the Dominican Republic to bring criminal charges against the orchestrators of fraud -- often the trainers and agents who stand to make large percentages of the prospects' signing bonuses.
The Yankees also signed Dominican catcher