Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Updated: May 24, 1:26 PM ET
Juan Carlos Oviedo pardoned
By Enrique Rojas
Dominican pitcher Juan Carlos Oviedo, formerly known as Leo Nunez, received a pardon from the U.S. State Department, a mandatory requirement for eligibility for a visa to travel to the United States and continue his career with the Miami Marlins.
Oviedo told ESPNdeportesLosAngeles.com Thursday that he is awaiting a call from the U.S. consulate in the Dominican Republic to get the visa that will allow him to travel to join the Marlins.
"I don't want to talk much about that (the process). I am waiting for a call from the consulate. I have the hope that everything will be OK, but I still don't have the visa," Oviedo said.
On Wednesday, Oviedo had told Z101Digital.com of Santo Domingo: "It is one thing to get the pardon and another to receive the visa. I have much faith that I will get it, God willing."
Oviedo had to leave the country in September when U.S. authorities found that he had faked his identity as a professional baseball player to sign with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2000.
"It is unclear when he could get his visa," a source said, adding it "could be in two days, could be in two weeks."
Nunez, 30, saved 92 games as the Marlins' closer in the past three seasons. His salary for 2012 would be $6 million. His presence could help stabilize a bullpen that has converted only 9 of 18 save opportunities.
Another Dominican pitcher, Roberto Hernandez Heredia (formerly known as Fausto Carmona), of Cleveland, faces the same situation as Oviedo. Calls to Heredia's agent by ESPNdeportesLosAngeles.com went unanswered.