Ben Badler on Baseball America has a story up on the reported signing of Jairo Beras by the Texas Rangers to a contract that includes a $4.5 million signing bonus that is required reading on this subject.
Beras, an outfield from the Dominican Republic who Badler says has drawn comparisons to Juan Gonzalez, was expected to be part of this summer's J-2 crop. Beras has been representing his birthdate as December 25, 1995, which would mean that he is 16 and not eligible to sign until July 2, 2012.
However, the reports that are now coming out are indicating that he is actually 17, and thus is eligible to be signed now. Apparently, most teams (and MLB) did not realize that he was 17, which allowed the Rangers to swoop in and sign him before the new J-2 amateur bonus cap goes into place.
According to Badler, neither the Rangers nor Beras' trainer are commenting right now, but teams are saying they believe the report of the deal is accurate.
The question then becomes, does MLB approve this contract? Or do they void the deal and require Beras to be part of this summer's J-2 crop?
UPDATE -- You don't want to make Bud Selig angry, apparently:
Several teams believe MLB will not and should not approve the reported Jairo Beras contract with Texas. Disciplinary action possible.— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) February 29, 2012