The Red Sox have agreed to sign Dominican right-hander Simon Mercedes to a deal including an $800K bonus, Ben Badler of Baseball America reports. For the agreement to become official, Mercedes must pass MLB’s investigation into his age, identity and visa.
Mercedes formerly presented himself as two years younger and went by the name of Jeffrey Tapia, so he has a history of identity issues. He agreed to a $400K deal with the Giants last offseason, but the agreement disintegrated following an MLB investigation and he was declared ineligible to sign for one year. The ban expired Wednesday, meaning the 20-year-old was again eligible to sign.
The right-hander stands 6’4” and his fastball ranges from 92-96 mph. Scouts say he has an average to above-average breaking ball, Badler reports. He has the potential to start in the Major Leagues.