Fired Nationals instructor reportedly knew Alvarez’s identity

Jose Baez, the former Nationals instructor who was fired last February after revelations that 18-year-old shortstop Esmailyn Gonzalez was actually 22-year-old Carlos Alvarez, knew of Alvarez’s fake identity and told him to keep playing, according to a report by Sports Illustrated’s Melissa Segura this morning.

Alvarez testified in a Dominican Republic appeals court in June that he told Baez of the fraud after he signed with the team in July 2006, fearful that the family who provided him with fake documentation would try to blackmail him. He was testifying in court as part of a dispute between Baez and the Nationals; the instructor is appealing a court’s initial ruling in favor of the team.

According to the report, the prospect also told the court that former special assistant Jose Rijo and former general manager Jim Bowden knew his real identity. Rijo was also fired last February, and Bowden resigned last March 1 in the wake of the Alvarez revelations.

Baez has denied he did anything wrong in the Alvarez case, though according the report, MLB investigator Nelson Tejada testified that Baez’s mistake was knowing the fraud and not reporting it.