The Texas Rangers waited five years for right-hander Alexi Ogando to receive a valid work visa that would allow him to resume his minor-league career -- and now I can see why. Right-handers who throw 93-96 with a chance for two above-average secondary pitches are worth that kind of wait.
Ogando was an outfielder in the farm system of the Oakland Athletics when he was one of 30 Dominican minor leaguers caught up in a marriage scam that led the United States government to refuse to issue them work visas, along with another recently reinstated Ranger pitcher, Omar Beltre. (The Rangers took Ogando from Oakland in the 2005 Rule 5 draft and converted him to the mound.) A year ago it didn't appear that the two players would ever be able to resume their professional careers, but they received work visas this winter and have been the talk of Rangers camp. I asked Texas GM Jon Daniels about why the team worked so hard to get Ogando and Beltre back into pro ball: