Edgar Mercedes Released Without Charges

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A Dominican judge released Edgar Mercedes from jail today without any charges, according to a report in Dominican newspaper "Listin Diario."

Judge Clara Castillo today rejected the charges against Mercedes, who had been arrested yesterday along with four Dominicans and three Cubans in connection with what Dominican national police had called an organized crime ring that had been illegally smuggling Cuban baseball players into the country.

Mercedes, who runs the Born To Play academy in the Dominican Republic, told "Listin Diario" that he is innocent and that the decision was a relief to him. Baseball America could not reach Mercedes for comment.

Mercedes' Born To Play program in the Dominican Republic has produced several high-profile players in recent years, including Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who signed a four-year, $36 million contract with the Athletics in March. Dominican righthander Michael Ynoa, who signed for $4.25 million with the Athletics in 2008, also trained with Mercedes.