SURPRISE, Ariz. – Major League Baseball plans to investigate the Texas Rangers’ agreement with Dominican teenager Jairo Beras on a contract amid concerns about his age, a source confirmed on Wednesday.
Yahoo! Sports first reported the pending investigation.
Reports surfaced Wednesday that the Rangers had agreed to terms on a $4.5 million bonus with the outfielder, whom the club believes is 17 years old and eligible to sign with any organization now. But according to reports, other rival executives believe Beras is 16 years old and would not be eligible to sign until July 2.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels declined comment.
If Beras is 16, he falls under the new rules governing international signings as part of the new collective bargaining agreement. Teams will have a cap of $2.9 million in bonuses it can hand out to international players for one year, starting July 2. After that, the bonus money will be based on record, giving the teams that finish lower in the standings more money to spend.
The Rangers have picked up their spending in Latin America in the last year. They signed Cuban outfielder Leonys Martin to a five-year, $15.5 million big league deal in May and two months later added Dominican outfielders Nomar Mazar ($5 million) and Ronald Guzman ($3.5 million). Martin is in big league camp with the Rangers.