Teenage outfielder Jairo Beras signed a $4.5 million contract with the Rangers in February out of the Dominican Republic, but whether or not the contract was legal has been in dispute since then. That is, until now. Major League Baseball has upheld the contract, but also suspended Beras for one year, the Rangers announced in a press release.
The dispute stemmed from an age controversy. International players can sign once they turn 17 years old. Beras had told teams he was 17 years old and the Rangers used their entire international signing budget to lock him down. But then it was revealed he may actually only be 16. It turns out, Beras initially told teams he was 16 but then furnished birth documents to Major League Baseball saying he was, in fact, 17.
The ruling Thursday seems to signal that the Rangers did nothing wrong and Beras did lie to teams initially about his age. The ruling also has to be a huge relief for the Rangers. With the international signing deadline passed, they would have been completely shut out without Beras, as they wanted him badly enough to use all their international money to get him.
Per Baseball America, Beras is 6-foot-5 and 178 pounds. The publication reports that scouts have likened Beras physically to a young Juan Gonzalez.