Reports: Red Sox punished for international signing violations

Red Sox president of operations Dave Dombrowski

Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Major League Baseball reportedly has disciplined the Boston Red Sox for violations in the international market.

According to multiple reports, the Red Sox will not be allowed to sign any international amateur free agents during the 2016-17 signing period and will have the contracts of five of their prospects voided.

The punishment stems from the 2015 international signing period, during which the Red Sox allegedly signed multiple Venezuelan players in "package deals" that violated the league’s international bonus pools. By signing multiple players represented by the same agent, an organization would be able to redistribute the money — so the higher-regarded players actually would make more while the lesser-regarded players get a smaller share of the money.

The signings apparently were flagged because Boston was able to sign multiple highly-rated prospects despite having a $300,000 spending limit on each player.

International spending has become a hot-topic issue in the sport because it helps contribute to the financial disparity in the majors, as recently detailed by FOX Sports MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal.