MILWAUKEE -- There's growing reason to believe the Marlins had no choice but to keep Leo Nunez at the July 31 trade deadline, what with revelations the team knew of his uncertain identity issues for months. The team's closer was placed on the restricted list on Thursday and returned to the Dominican Republic to answer charges he has been playing under an assumed name for years.
"A reasonable assumption," a league source told me this morning when I asked whether it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to trade Nunez at the deadline.
If the Marlins knew, it's safe to assume Major League Baseball knew as well. And if that's the case, the Marlins were likely either told they couldn't trade Nunez until the matter was resolved, or they would have to provide full disclosure about the situation to any team interested in the pitcher, which would have effectively killed any deal. In fact, Herald colleague Dan LeBatard is reporting on 790-The Ticket that the Marlins had a trade worked out for Nunez, but MLB put the kabosh on it.
MLB sent a memorandum out in March of 2008 informing all foreign-born players -- in the majors and minors -- that they would be granted immunity from penalty if they came forward before May 1 of that year and revealed any false information contained in their visas.