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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

MLB Investigates Red Sox Over International Signings

Follow the money.

During the 2015-16 signing period, which opened on July 2, 2015, the Red Sox were not allowed to sign any player subject to the international bonus pools for more than $300,000, a penalty for exceeding their bonus pool the previous signing period.

In spite of those restrictions, the Red Sox still signed two of Baseball America’s Top 30 international prospects for July 2 last year. Venezuelan outfielders Albert Guaimaro (ranked No. 15) and Simon Muzziotti (ranked No. 24) each signed for $300,000 bonuses. Guaimaro trained with Francisco Ortiz, while Muzziotti trained with Pascuale Fiorello and Pablo Leal. The Red Sox signed multiple players from those programs last year. They signed multiple players from the programs run by Felix Olivo and Jose Montero as well, most notably shortstop Antonio Pinero for $300,000 from Olivo’s program and shortstop Eduardo Torrealba for $300,000 from Montero’s program.

According to several sources, MLB officials—including Nelson Tejada, the league’s manager of investigations—went to the Red Sox academy in the Dominican Republic last week and questioned several of those Venezuelan players individually about their signings. MLB officials asked the players whether they signed in a package deal, whether they gave part of their signing bonus to another player or received part of another player’s bonus, or why they signed for more or less money than might have been expected. Some of those players, according to one source, did acknowledge that they signed as part of a package deal.


 

 

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