MLB finally approves Beras deal with Rangers
The Texas Rangers officially signed Dominican Republic outfielder Jairo Beras to a contract Thursday, although he won't be playing in games until 2013.
The $4.5 million signing had been held up for months because of concerns about the age of the outfielder. The Rangers believed Beras was 17 when they signed him in February. Major League Baseball thought Beras was 16 at the time the Rangers signed him, which would have made him ineligible to be signed before the new international signing rules were in place July 2.
Even though MLB is upholding the Beras contract, he's suspended from participating in games until July 1, 2013. He may participate in workouts and practices until then.
"As an organization, we are pleased with the outcome of this process. Really dating back to spring training, it's been ongoing," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said in a conference call. "MLB conducted a thorough investigation. I think their outcome points out a few things, notably that as we've felt all along, the contract was signed within the rules with the correct age and identity."
Major League Baseball said the suspension was for providing a false date of birth in connection with registration as a prospect. Beras will not receive his minor league salary during the suspension.
Beras is a 6-foot-5, 195-pound right-handed hitter who was considered by many to be the best prospect in the Dominican Republic. Daniels said Beras projects as a multitool corner outfielder.
Daniels said the club would try and be creative with how it uses Beras before he's eligible to play in games. He'll likely head to Arizona next spring.
Daniels said the Beras signing also means the club wouldn't be a participant in the international signing period this year. Although the Rangers didn't sign anyone, Daniels said the amount of money it took to get Beras means the Rangers wouldn't be players in the signing period.
Daniels also said he didn't expect the Rangers to sign any additional draft picks from the June first-year player draft. The Rangers signed every player they drafted in the first 13 rounds of the draft. Friday is the deadline to sign the picks to contracts.