Nats president supports inquiry
Kasten welcomes investigation into alleged skimming of money
WASHINGTON -- Nationals president Stan Kasten discussed the investigation currently under way involving the alleged skimming of signing bonus money meant for Dominican prospects by club officials around the league.
On Friday night, an anonymous source told ESPN that Nationals general manager Jim Bowden and special assistant to the GM Jose Rijo are the focus of part of that investigation; Bowden flatly denied any wrongdoing to reporters.
Kasten didn't want to go into detail about the subject because of its sensitivity. The FBI is leading the investigation.
However, Kasten offered praise for the investigation and others like it, specifically singling out Major League Baseball president Bob Dupuy and Commissioner Bud Selig for their creation of a special investigative unit to look into issues like the alleged financial wrongdoings. Kasten said such actions are crucial for cleaning up the sport.
"Reports about the things that are going on, to me -- and I think to all who love baseball -- are the very best kinds of news we could possibly have," Kasten said. "This is an outgrowth of the, I think, most important part of the Mitchell Report recommendations."
Kasten said he thinks the positive benefits of the league's hard-line stance on enforcing its rules will be felt "for years and years."
"This is baseball stepping up, being proactive, not reactive," Kasten said.
He also said he wouldn't discuss the option of a world Draft -- Dominican players, unlike American and Puerto Rican players, are signed rather than drafted -- because he called that a "collective bargaining" issue.
Zachary Osterman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.