MLB Voids Contract Of Yankees’ Paniagua

SATURDAY: Paniagua's suspension was due to "falsified documents," Badler hears from MLB vice president Kim Ng.  The league is still investigating the matter and hasn't made a final ruling on Paniagua's status.  Ng notes that Paniagua's representatives are asking the league to reconsider the initial decision and that while the right-hander is unable to sign with any team for a year, Paniagua isn't technically "suspended" since he isn't under an official contract yet.

THURSDAY: Major League Baseball has voided the $1.1MM contract of Yankees pitching prospect Juan Carlos Paniagua and suspended the right-hander for one year, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America. MLB hasn't specified — even to the Yankees — why Paniagua has been suspended, but "one-year suspensions are usually reserved for a player who presents false information to teams about his age or identity," writes Badler.

Paniagua is no stranger to these circumstances. The Diamondbacks signed him — then going by the name Juan Collado — for a mere $17K in May 2009. While that contract was under review, Paniagua was allowed to play in the Dominican Summer League under a rule that's since been changed, and he impressed scouts with a big fastball. The contract with Arizona was voided and Paniagua was suspended in June 2010. When that suspension was lifted in March, teams were lining up for his services, with the Yankees placing the winning bid.

His contract once again was pending MLB's review since signing with the Yankees, and he has not played in any games during that time. We can't say for sure why Paniagua was suspended, but Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic speculated in March that the hangup may have been regarding Paniagua's birthday, which he didn't amend even when he came clean about his name:

There still is a lot of skepticism about whether he’ll actually get off the island and into the U.S. The fact that he changed his name, but not his birthday, is a red flag.

38 Responses to MLB Voids Contract Of Yankees’ Paniagua Leave a Reply

  1. I bet a lot of Yankee fans are wishing they voided Burnette’s contract instead.

    • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

      Burnett pitched all right against the Sox tonight. But then again, even a broken clock is wrong twice a day…

      • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

        it’s right twice a day…

        • 0bsessions 4 years ago

          In fairness, a broken clock is wrong AT LEAST twice a day. Maybe he was taking the over?

        • elclashcombo 4 years ago

          i think he was making a joke.

        • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

          Uhh, right, that’s what I meant. Long night of drinking =/

          Though I did hang out with Padma Laxmi… points if you know who she is!

          • chico65 4 years ago

            I bet you two didn’t get anything cooking.  I hear she Lakshmi more than she likes you.  

      • 0bsessions 4 years ago

        I’m going to stand by the theory that the Sox went easy on him in an effort to get him into the playoff rotation. Unfounded, baseless, implausible, but better for my sanity.

        • Hey did you guys know that the Jays got Noah Syndergaard because AJ signed with NY in 2008. Hes being compared to Josh Beckett and Doc Halladay.

  2. JacksTigers 4 years ago

    It almost sounds like he doesn’t know his real name or date of birth. It’s not un-heard of for someone from the DR to not have all of their personal information. There are so many variables in that country. I kind of feel bad for the guy. I hate when these things happen.

    • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

      You have a valid point, but that concept is so foreign to people living in this country that it’s just hard to fathom how someone doesn’t know his birthday or name.

    • angryredmenace 4 years ago

      One problems with your theory of him not knowing his personal information is the article states he came clean about his name, which means he knowingly was using a false name, which would give one the opinion that he is purposely trying to hide who he.The more realistic theory of why he continues to have problems with the league is he’s doing what many players from the dominican have done before, trying to up his value by lowering his age.

      • JacksTigers 4 years ago

        He came clean that he was using a fake name. That doesn’t mean he knows his actuall name.

        • angryredmenace 4 years ago

          Wow, is that really the excuse you’re going with?

          • JacksTigers 4 years ago

            You have no idea how that country works, do you? Just addmit you don’t know what you’re talking about so we can all move on. You’ve been spoiled by being born in America and not knowing how tough life is for people in third world countries. There are rarley birth certificates. Think of the worst hood you’ve ever seen and imagine an entire country worse than that. Drugs are very common as well, making it very possible for him to have grown up without parents to tell him who he is. So how about you do a little research before you start talking.

          • johnsilver 4 years ago

            Signing any player from several 3rd world countries (as you yourself described) is a total crap shot. Many of those players will lie by any means, falsify documents to escape the extreme poverty and a good reason to NOT give out extreme bonuses to many countries that lots of teams do, lest they get burned in numerous cases.

            Yes.. I HAVE been to those countries (albeit 30 years ago in some cases) while in the USN and some not nearly as poverty stricken in the Pacific rim that are far more trustworthy as far as documents would go.

            You sign a player of some Caribbean (and a few other places origin) and you have no clue what you are actually getting.

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            So, wait, third time’s a charm or something?

            “Name?” “Juan Collado”
            “Hmmm, doesn’t seem to check out.” “Okay, ya got me, it’s really Carlos Panigua”
            “Hmmmm, nope, not flying either.” Okay, you win, I don’t know my name.”

            Now, I understand it’s technically within the realm of possibility, but if it’s a simply matter of not knowing his name, something we’ve established is a possibility, wouldn’t it have made sense for him to state, upon being busted the first time, that he didn’t know rather than simply making up ANOTHER fake name?

            Sorry, but regardless of the situation down there, the fact it’s happened twice now is more indicative of deception rather than ignorance. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me two or more times…

        • chico65 4 years ago

          He had considered calling himself Jose Pangaea but figured it would be too telling

          • angryredmenace 4 years ago


          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            And the award for, by far, the most obscure MLBTR word play reference EVER goes to…

          • mypoorbuccos 4 years ago


    • I can’t find the article, but I distinctly remember Julian Tavarez saying that he had absolutely no clue when he was born. His upbringing was a bit nontraditional though.

      • 0bsessions 4 years ago

        Everything about Julian Tavarez was nontraditional. He may have been an unmitigated disaster for the most part toward the tail end of his career, but the guy was a constant source of entertainment. I only wish I could’ve seen him playing for Ozzie Guillen.

        • I’ll always have good memories of Tavarez because of how he pitched in early 2007 when the Sox were having problems with their starting rotation. He was probably something near 40 years old at that point too. I remember how unhappy I was when they signed him before the ’06 season and how much he ended up winning me over.

          Also, he gave us this quote, which we will have forever: “Why did I sign with the Nationals? When you go to a club at 4 a.m., and you’re just waiting, waiting, a 600-pounder looks like J. Lo. And to me this is Jennifer Lopez right here. It’s 4 a.m. Too much to drink. So, Nationals: Jennifer Lopez to me.:

        • IdontknowwhyIpostonforums 4 years ago

          I still remember when he tried to karate kick Russ Davis during a preseason game.

  3. This strikes me as odd. The MLB has the right to suspend the player, but
    should only be able to void the contract if the Yankees also acted
    inappropriately (i.e. knowingly falsified or helped him falsify
    documents). If the Yankees didn’t do anything wrong, the league should
    report the information to them, and the Yankees should be able to
    petition to have to contract voided.

    • 0bsessions 4 years ago

      Oh they most certainly can void the contract. If his identity was misrepresented in any way, known or unknown by the other party, that contract is effectively useless to begin with. It’s not exactly a strike against the Yanks or anything, it’s simply law 101.

      What they can’t do is sanction the Yankees, unless the Yankees knowingly entered the contract under false information, which is unlikely.

      • 0bsessions 4 years ago

        Strike that, it’s now law 101, that would imply I’ve ever taken a law class outside of a semester of crim in High School. This is the kind of basic detail you could probably pick up from old episodes of really any TV show.

      • I suppose we need to know more details in this case and at what point the contract was “voided.” To me, voided implies that the contract was already in effect and was then overturned, but some of the language in this report makes it sounds like the contract was still under official review by MLB.

        I also think situations like this are another reason why international players should be subject to the draft. Not entirely fair that this guys value can go up by $983K by going on the open market after sporting a big fastball under an assumed name in the DSL while someone like Anthony Ranaudo is much more limited in his options after dominating in the Cape Cod League.

        • 0bsessions 4 years ago

          One way or the other, whatever was agreed to is nulified. The impression I get is that the terms of the deal were agreed to, the contract was signed and it merely awaited MLB approval. MLB found irregularities and said “nope, this ain’t happening” and it was thrown out.

    • If MLB doesn’t have the right to void the contract then “John Doe” should go to the D’backs, not the Yankees.  In fact, what is bizarre is that they wouldn’t just allow the D’backs to reinstate him since they are the ones footing the bill for allowing him to increase in value at their expense.

  4. 0bsessions 4 years ago

    Upon hearing the news, Orioles outfielder Luke Scott called the office of Commissioner Bud Selig screaming incoherently. The clerk who took the call went on record saying it was “something about a birth certificate.”

    • DeManiac 4 years ago

      Elsewhere, Paniagua’s estranged uncle is picked up for a DUI.

  5. woadude 4 years ago

    They voided the contract because they discovered his real name was Julia.

  6. tacko 4 years ago

    Kinda illegal.

  7. Boy, that guys ‘half the pitcher he used to be!

  8. Douglas Rau 4 years ago

    And yet, after doing so, he’d still be more useful to the Yankees than Kei Igawa.

  9. DeManiac 4 years ago

    Nice one.

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