Major League Baseball has banned the Boston Red Sox from signing international free agents for the next year after an investigation found the Sox violated rules.
Yahoo Sports – The Red Sox will not be signing any international free agents this year. It started when Boston signed Yoan Moncada a couple years ago. The organization over spent for Moncada, which placed spending restrictions on last year’s free agency. The investigation found that they manipulated their $300,000 limit to spend on prospects last year by offering weird “package deals” that involved multiple players and agents. The Red Sox paid multiple prospects at the $300,000 limit, and in some sort of back room deals had the agents rearrange the money to prospects who received more than the allotted $300,000.
In addition to a ban from participating in international free agency this year, Major League Baseball also voids the contracts given to five players by the Red Sox: outfielders Albert Guaimaro and Simon Muzziotti, infielders Antonio Pinero and Eduardo Torrealba, and RHP Cesar Gonzalez. These teams will keep their original signing bonuses from Boston, and are available to sign with any team starting Saturday, which marks the beginning on the international free agent signing period. The original $300,000 will not count against the bonus limit of any teams that wish to sign these players, as a sort of cap relief for the new teams.
The international free agency system has long been a broken one, but at least Major League Baseball is somewhat policing this broken system. The Red Sox are known as a big player in the international free agent market. Some of the pieces they’ve been able to grab in the past ended up leading to players like Craig Kimbrel in trades. MLB’s efforts are based in a desire to level the playing field with these international free agents. This ban will certainly cost the Red Sox development system.