Jim Bowden Accused of Skimming Money Allotted for Signing Prospects

To anyone that's familiar with Major League Baseball, the whole international scouting aspect of the game has always seemed a bit shady. Players outside of the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico aren't eligible for the draft, so they all become free agents on their 16th birthdays. That means that every year during the Latin American signing period, there's essentially a free-for-all among the teams to throw tons of money at kids, in hoping to get them sign with their system.

Today, there's news that the whole process is quite possibly more than a bit shady. Several baseball employees are being investigated for skimming money allotted for Dominican prospects, and the scandal goes all the way to the top of the Nationals' front office as it appears that GM Jim Bowden and his special assistant Barry Larkin may be involved in the investigation. Bowden admits to talking to MLB officials and the FBI but, of course, denies the charges.

"There's no wrongdoing," Bowden said during the Nationals' game against the Houston Astros. "I met with FBI investigators. I think there are many people throughout baseball who are going to be talking with the FBI and Major League Baseball, trying to help get all the information out there on all the problems that exist over there. ... At no time when I met with the FBI investigators were questions revolving around myself or Jose Rijo."

Bowden was the Reds GM from 1991-2003 and the Nats' GM since 2004 and he's managed to make the playoffs once in that incredibly long time span. Maybe the investigation should be into how he still has a job.

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