One month into the minor league season, Cubs righthander Juan Carlos Paniagua has still not received his visa to travel to the United States.
Paniagua signed out of the Dominican Republic for $1.5 million last year in July, had his contract approved and he even pitched in the U.S. briefly after signing. However, the U.S. Consulate has been requesting documents from Paniagua—including school records and identifying documents from his siblings—before issuing him a visa. There’s no clear timetable for when Paniagua might arrive in the U.S. to begin his first full minor league season—if you can call if a full season at this point.
Paniagua has a checkered history with Major League Baseball’s investigations, having failed two of them previously and served two separate penalties that banned him from signing for one year, although he has always used April 4, 1990 as his date of birth on all of his contracts.
Cardinals righthander Carlos Martinez, another Dominican pitcher with a history of document issues, also faced a visa delay this spring, but he eventually received his visa and has been called up to St. Louis.