I'm nearly (but not quite) out of this week's meat grinder, and I'm still short on time ... but of particular interest today is the news that the Rangers have signed 17-year-old Dominican outfielder Jairo Beras -- or Veras, which seems to be a matter of some dispute -- to a $4.5 million deal. The Rangers are refusing comment on the deal, and Baseball America's Ben Badler is reporting that this isn't a done deal just yet, because if MLB approves the reported contract, "teams will be furious."
However, more reports are coming across Twitter indicating that Beras turned 17 in December (a fact which apparently eluded most, if not all teams in baseball other than Texas), which, if true, pushed the expected date of his eligibility to sign (July 2nd) up to the present, and would therefore make this an approvable signing. The $2.9 million per-team cap on international free agency begins this summer, thereby rendering Beras one of the last Dominican bonus babies signed under the by-laws of the old CBA.
Per Keith Law, Beras furnishes a "plus hit [tool], projectable body, [and] future plus power," and his conversations with baseball people seem to indicate that Beras was signable. Per Ben Badler, Beras' date of birth was listed as December 25th, 1995, giving MLB and teams the impression that he wasn't signable until July 2nd. One source tells Jeff Passan that he thinks MLB will approve this deal, while another executive "strongly disagrees" with the notion that MLB will approve this signing.
1:00 p.m. CST Update: The plot thickens:
Source: MLB to immediately investigate Rangers' signing of Jairo Beras. MLB was under the impression Beras was 16, ineligible to be signed.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 29, 2012