Before the 2012-13 international signing period ended on June 15, the Rays signed Dominican third baseman Juan Carlos Arias for $200,000.
If Major League Baseball approves Arias’ contract, his bonus will count against Tampa Bay’s 2012-13 international bonus pool. Since the Rays already went well beyond 15 percent over their $2.9 million international bonus pool, they will have to pay a 100 percent tax on their pool overage, so the Arias signing will end up costing them $400,000.
That is, of course, if Arias has his contract approved. Arias would have been ineligible to sign last year, but MLB determined that he did not pass his age investigation and declared him ineligible to sign until June 12, 2013, although he did pass the league’s investigation into his identity. Now Arias has signed with the Rays using the same Sept. 16, 1995 date of birth that he was using last year. As long as Arias can get an age undetermined ruling from MLB—something Cubs righthander Juan Carlos Paniagua, Rangers outfielder Jairo Beras and others with sketchy paperwork histories have received—his contract will likely go through.
Arias, who is presenting himself as a 17-year-old, is 6-foot-3, 220 pounds with strength in his righthanded swing, plus raw power and a good arm at third base, although he’s been an inconsistent game performer and will have to prove he can stay at third base. He’s from San Pedro de Macoris and trains with Alfredo Arias (no relation to the player).