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Mariners

03/21/2017   Seattle PI Mariners

Spring training performances can sometimes give an indication of what a player has been working on in the offseason or provide a rough road map for whether a player is ascending or descending. With just less than two weeks remaining until Opening Day, we thought we'd look at a few players whose spring has us expecting big things during the season, as well as a few whose performances have been decidedly more worrisome.

03/15/2017   Seattle PI Mariners
MIAMI (AP) — A Miami jury on Wednesday convicted a Florida sports agent and a baseball trainer on charges they smuggled Cuban baseball players to the U.S. in search of big profits from professional free agent contracts. The verdict came after jurors heard about six weeks of testimony in the trial of Bartolo Hernandez and Julio Estrada, who were indicted on conspiracy and alien smuggling charges for an operation that began in 2009 and involved a number of high-profile Major League Baseball players. Trial evidence showed an existing Cuban smuggling operation that brought people from the communist-run island to Mexico became the platform in 2009 for the much more lucrative trade in elite ballplayers. Prosecutors showed jurors how many of those documents contained false information, such as made-up jobs for players, and some travel documents were forged. In one of the trial's memorable moments, Chicago White Sox star Jose Abreu testified that he ate a piece of his phony Haitian passport while flying to the U.S. in 2013 because he feared repercussions if he landed in Miami with a fake document. The defense attorneys told jurors Hernandez and Estrada ran legitimate businesses and were not overseeing an illegal smuggling ring.
03/15/2017   Seattle PI Mariners
Prosecution evidence included testimony from several Major League Baseball players detailing their defections from communist Cuba and signing of lucrative free-agent contracts. Trial evidence included documents containing false information used to obtain players' residency in Mexico and Haiti they needed before coming to the U.S. There was also testimony about attempted kidnappings of players and illegal border crossings. Prosecution evidence included testimony from several Major League Baseball players detailing their defections from communist Cuba and signing of lucrative free-agent contracts. Trial evidence included documents containing false information used to obtain players' residency in Mexico and Haiti they needed before coming to the U.S. There was also testimony about attempted kidnappings of players and illegal border crossings. Prosecutors said the two oversaw a network of boat captains, handlers, document forgers and used phony paperwork to get the players to the U.S. quickly so they could sign lucrative Major League Baseball contracts.