Major League Baseball investigating Red Sox over recent worldwide signings

MLB trade Ryan Braun

Baseball America released a report on Wednesday that Major League Baseball is investigating the Red Sox for their worldwide signings in 2015.

The focus of the investigation involves whether the Red Sox signed multiple players from the same trainer in "package deals" and whether such signings would have violated the global bonus pools that were implemented in 2012.

Sources told Baseball America that MLB officials are focusing on whether the team signed players as package deals to circumvent rules on global bonus pools.

The Red Sox signed outfielders Albert Guaimaro and Simon Muzziotti to $300,000 bonuses last signing period. Some players broke down in tears, according to the report. Per the website, Nelson Tejada, the MLB's manager of investigations, recently took a trip with a group of league officials to the Dominican Republic to interview these young players and their training staffs. Operating under this restriction, 24 of the club's 33 reported worldwide signings in the 2015 period were from Venezuela, with at least seven of them signing for the maximum of $300,000. Such arrangements, according to a league source, are expressly prohibited.

Courtesy of USA Today Images
Major League Baseball investigating Red Sox over recent worldwide signings

MLB's investigation has led them to question the players themselves, who are still both under 18 years of age, with one source telling Baseball America that MLB's investigators "put a lot of pressure on [the prospects], like they were criminals".

Current Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said he is "not at liberty" to comment on the report.

However a person familiar with the investigation disputed that claim, telling ESPN's Lauber that the league isn't out to punish the players. Penalties for any violations could include fines, suspensions and loss of future signing rights, although players aren't usually subject to punishment.

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