Major League Baseball has investigators and other personnel on the ground in Venezuela, where it is working with local authorities in the kidnapping of Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos(notes).
Four armed men reportedly abducted Ramos, 24, from his family's home Wednesday night in Valencia. Reports Thursday morning out of Venezuela said police had determined Ramos was alive.
MLB and the Nationals issued a statement just after noon: "Our foremost concern is with Wilson Ramos and his family and our thoughts are with them at this time. Major League Baseball's Department of Investigations is working with the appropriate authorities on this matter. Both Major League Baseball and the Washington Nationals have been instructed to make no further comment."
The Department of Investigations, or DOI, was created at the recommendation of George Mitchell and his "Mitchell Report" of Dec. 2007. A month later, commissioner Bud Selig announced the formation of the DOI and installed former New York policeman Dan Mullin as its head. Mullin is the cousin of NBA Hall of Famer Chris Mullin.
The DOI has full-time agents in place in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, just as it does in the United States. The agency worked closely with Venezuelan officials during the separate 2009 kidnappings of Victor Zambrano's mother and Yorvit Torrealba's(notes) son, and routinely monitors the day-to-day security concerns in those nations.
A baseball source said Thursday morning that Ramos would be best served if the league said little on the very delicate matter.