MLB levied punishments against the Red Sox on Friday for violating baseball’s rules on signing international amateur free agents, according to multiple reports. ESPN’s Buster Olney first reported the news.
The Red Sox will not be allowed to sign any international amateurs until July 2017 and five prospects signed last year were declared free agents.
The Red Sox are accused of manipulating the international signing bonus system last year. When the Red Sox signed Cuban teenager Yoan Moncada in 2015, they exceeded their international bonus pool. As a result, Boston was only allowed to spend $300,000 in bonuses during the last signing period.
“The Red Sox skirted the $300,000 threshold by packaging highly regarded prospects with lesser ones, paying both similarly and allowing the players’ agent to give the lion’s share of the money to the better prospect,” Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reports.
The five prospects are Simon Muzziotti, Albert Guaimaro, Cesar Gonzalez, Antonio Pinero and Eduardo Torrealba. They will keep their bonuses from the Red Sox and will be free to sign with another team when the international signing period begins on Saturday.