Yesterday, Baseball America’s Ben Badler reported that Major League Baseball was going to levy penalties against the Boston Red Sox due to improprieties perpetrated during last year’s International Signing Period. Today, Jeff Passan at Yahoo! Sports elaborated on that report. I’ve spoken with several international scouts about this news in an attempt to gauge the implications not only for the Red Sox but for the international market in general. The results of those inquiries appear below.
Some background on the issue
Boston was in the J2 penalty box last year as a result of the Yoan Moncada signing the year before. They signed two Venezuelan prospects from the same training program last year, both for $300,000, and a third from that program for $200,000. MLB has found that the best of those three prospects, a catcher/outfielder named Albert Guaimaro, received most of that money. This allowed Boston to acquire a player whom they wouldn’t have been able to sign (since being in the J2 penalty box means you can’t sign players for more than $300K), the agent makes more money and two prospects who otherwise may not have had an opportunity to play in a Major League organization now have that chance. As a result of MLB’s findings, five players signed by the Red Sox during last year’s period will be declared free agents and the club is now banned from signing any international prospects during the Int’l Signing Period that begins tomorrow.