Brian Kotloff
Wednesday December 12th, 2012

The Tampa Bay Rays are close to signing free-agent pitcher Roberto Hernandez, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

Hernandez, 32, started just three games for the Indians last season, during which he served a three-week suspension for age and identity fraud. He played six seasons in Cleveland under the name Fausto Carmona -- listing his birth year as 1983 instead of 1980 -- before being arrested in his native Dominican Republic for using a false identity to try to obtain a visa.

The right-hander owns a career 4.64 ERA in 184 career games, including 153 starts, and was an All-Star in 2010. Tampa Bay could use him as either a starter or reliever, according to Topkin. After Monday's blockbuster trade that sent James Shields to the Royals, the Rays' current rotation is headed by David Price, Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore, with righties Alex Cobb and Jeff Niemann potentially filling out the back end.

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