During the team’s off-day on Thursday, assistant general manager Mike Rizzo and team president Stan Kasten went to the Dominican Republic to check on their new baseball academy in Boca Chica. Both Rizzo and Kasten said the players are in a beautiful facility near a beach resort.
“We met our staff. We meant the players. It was very good,” Kasten said. “Things are looking good already and I’m very optimistic going forward.”
On April 7, the Nationals are bringing nine players to the United States to play in extended spring training, and seven of those players will go back to the Dominican Republic to play in the Summer League.
There is no word of when infielder Carlos Alvarez, who previously called himself Esmailyn Gonzalez, will come to Minor League camp. He was expected to arrive two weeks ago, but has been a no-show.
“I can tell you there is a lot going on behind the scenes. I know that’s vague, but I have to keep it there. This has a lot of levels and a lot of different entities,” Kasten said. “It’s going to take a while. There is still a chance he winds up playing here. It would need to be soon, so I wouldn’t rule that out at all. Things have to happen first.”
Alvarez, who received a $1.4 million signing bonus from the Nationals in 2006, allegedly falsified his name and age. In Washington’s 2008 media guide, Alvarez is listed as 19, but is really 23. Major League Baseball’s department of investigations is looking into the matter.