According to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, Major League Baseball will uphold the $4.5 million signing bonus that commits Dominican outfielder Jairo Beras to the Texas Rangers organization despite several discrepancies surrounding the player’s age. In addition, MLB will also suspend Beras for one year after determining that the prospect lied, at some point, about how old he was.
As you may recall, the Rangers surprised the entirety of the baseball world by signing Beras in February, when many believed he was too young to sign according to the rules dictating transactions between MLB clubs and international free agents. An investigation was immediately launched, and it was thought that the signing would eventually be overturned.
It appears that MLB believes that Beras lied about his age until it became apparent that he stood to make out better by claiming to be his real age. This was due to the limitations on international free agent signings being put into place by changes in the collective bargaining agreement. By signing prior to the July 2nd deadline, Beras didn’t have to worry about caps on spending for individual teams.
Under the rules of the new collective bargaining agreement, teams have been limited to a $2.9 million total budget for signing bonuses for international amateurs. If teams go over the limit, they’re subject to a harsh tax and restrictions on international signings in future years. However, those rules didn’t go into effect until July 2, so players who signed before then, like Beras and Jorge Soler of the Chicago Cubs, were able to do so under the old system with no restrictions.
Given the development path of Beras, who won’t be expected in an MLB lineup for sometime, the suspension is largely nominal.