Jenrry Mejia flagged for age review

February, 13, 2013
2/13/13
10:23
AM ET
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Sandy Alderson said the visa issue delaying Jenrry Mejia's arrival to camp is related to a review of his age and identity.

The GM, speaking Wednesday morning at the team's complex, said he believed the review was random and that Mejia, 23, was not the target of suspected fraud or other wrongdoing.

Alderson said the new regime at the U.S. consulate in the Dominican Republic is being more aggressive. Major League Baseball, which conducts the identity reviews for the U.S. consulate, understands the case is a priority so Mejia can report to camp, according to Alderson.

Still, Alderson was not predicting a quick resolution.

"Unfortunately, when he went to pick up his visa, the consulate decided they needed to do an age and identity review in his case," Alderson said. "I think it was random. I don't know that there was any reason specifically that they decided to do that. I understand there's a new regime at the consulate and they wanted to do that review.

"MLB actually handles those investigations for the consulate. MLB knows that is a priority for us. It was unanticipated by the player, by us, by Major League Baseball for that matter. It's very unusual for a Latin player who has been to the United States on multiple occasions and has been on a major league roster for several years to be investigated. But, as I said, we don't believe there's any specific reason for it. We think it was done on a random basis.

"All of that being said, it's a fairly open-ended process. It could take a while. But MLB is treating it as a priority. So I'm hopeful he'll be in soon."

Alderson said Mejia, who will work as a starting pitcher in spring training, currently is training at the Mets' complex in the Dominican Republic.

"I'm hope that the work he's able to get there will not leave him too far behind when he actually gets here," Alderson said.
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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