The Red Sox have agreed to a deal with Dominican righthander Simon Mercedes, which according to an international source is for an $800,000 bonus.
However, that deal is still pending several hurdles, including Mercedes passing Major League Baseball's investigation into his age and identity and his acquisition of a visa. Those will be important steps to watch given Mercedes' history, the details of which are still somewhat hazy.
At some point within the last couple of years, Mercedes went from presenting himself as a 16-year-old named Jeffrey Tapia to an 18-year-old named Simon Mercedes. It's not clear whether Mercedes ever faced any penalty from MLB for changing his age and his identity at the time, though it appears he did not. Mercedes pitched in the Dominican Prospect League all-star game on Jan. 29, 2011, when he pitched two innings, allowed one run, walked one and struck out three. Shortly after the DPL all-star game, Mercedes agreed to a $400,000 deal with the Giants.
However, that deal fell apart after an MLB investigation into Mercedes' background. In March 2011, MLB declared Mercedes ineligible to sign for one year, though the league has not publicly stated the reason for the sanction against Mercedes. The one-year ban on signing ended on Wednesday, and Mercedes quickly agreed to terms with the Red Sox, doubling his previous signing bonus.
While the deal is still contingent upon official approval, Mercedes was one of the top players eligible to sign before the new Collective Bargaining Agreement rules on international spending kick in on July 2. Mercedes, who by his current listed date of birth (Feb. 17, 1992) is 20 years old, is 6-foot-4, 220 pounds with a power arm, giant hands and a 92-96 mph fastball. Scouts who have seen Mercedes recently said he also has an average to above-average breaking ball, which he used last year to strike out Royals $3 million outfielder Elier Hernandez in the DPL all-star game. Mercedes will have to smooth out some things in his delivery, but he has starter potential with the bullpen as a fallback option. Mercedes was training with Felix Liriano and Edwin Sabater.
Comments will be monitored prior to being added to the site. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be rejected. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed.
We have chosen to open up commenting to everyone, so comment away! We want to hear from each and every one of you! Leave a comment.
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog