The Cleveland Indians still don’t know if Roberto Hernandez, previously known as Fausto Carmona, will pitch for them this season — or again.
So while awaiting the outcome to his peculiar case, the club restructured the right-hander’s contract. Odds.
Hernandez, recently cleared of fake identity charges in the Dominican Republic, will make $2.5 million as a base income in 2012 and can earn an additional $2.7 million in performance and roster bonuses. He had been scheduled to make $7 million this season, but the club renegotiated the amount while adding inducements for innings pitched, starts and days on the 25-man roster.
Concordant to deal terms, Hernandez will receive $200,000 when he reaches 20, 23 and 26 starts and for 150, 170 and 185 innings. In addition, he will get $250,000 for 95 days on the roster and then $250,000 for every 15 days up until 165.
The Indians as well decreased a $9 million option for 2013 to $6 million, with any bonuses reached in 2012 tacked on. He will earn another $3 million next season in bonuses based primarily on innings pitched.
Hernandez was arrested on January19 outside of the U.S. Consulate in Santo Domingo, where officials discovered his name wasn’t Carmona — as the Indians knew him as for a decade — and he was 31 years of age and not 28 as the team had thought.
The Dominican government dropped charges against him last month after Hernandez finished a work program in which he met with young players and discouraged them from changing their names to play in the U.S. Hernandez has claimed he needed to step forward a reveal his real identity but was “scared to reveal what happened” after other players were caught lying about their names and birthdates.
He asked for a visa to rejoin the Indians, who were forced to make moves in case Hernandez wasn’t permitted to return. It’s not known if Hernandez’s application has been reviewed by U.S authorities. Scores.
Hernandez was also placed on Major league Baseball’s limited list. As he sorts out his legal entanglement, Carmona has been working out and pitching in the Dominican Republic. The Indians have stayed in contact with him throughout the course of action and have even videotaped him at their baseball academy in the Dominican to trace his development.
Hernandez, who signed with Cleveland’s organization as a free agent in 2000, has had a chaotic career with the Indians.
After going 1-10 typically as a reliever in 2006, he went 19-8 the following season, forming a 1-2 combination with CC Sabathia that helped Cleveland get to the American League Championship Series. Hernandez was on the brink of mega stardom, but after going 8-7 in 2008, he was sent to the low minor leagues in 2009 to work on his mechanics and psyche.
He rebounded back and won 13 games in 2010, and although his record failed to show it, Hernandez, who started the season opener in 2011, stayed injury free and provided valuable innings while going 7-15 with a 5.25 ERA in 32 starts.
At about that stage, the Indians can only hope he makes another one.