Happy birthday to Jairo Beras, who may be turning 20 years old today. Or may be turning 19 years old today, or 21 years old today. No one is quite 100% sure, after all...
In case you've forgotten, Beras's real date of birth is the subject of a fair amount of controversy. Up until early 2012, it was believed that Beras was born on December 25, 1995, which would have made him 19 years old today, and would have made him ineligible to sign with an MLB team until July 2, 2012.
However, MLB introduced a new set of rules governing J-2 signings beginning with the July 2, 2012, class, which would have limited the amount that teams could spend (arguably in response, at least in part, to the Rangers paying almost $10 million in bonuses on Ronald Guzman and Nomar Mazara in the 2011 J-2 signing period). As the story goes, the Rangers then discovered that Beras was not born on 12/25/95, but instead was born on 12/25/94 -- which made him eligible to sign immediately, and not be subject to the cap. As the only team with that information, the Rangers swooped in and signed Beras for a $4.5 million bonus, which resulted in a major outcry from other teams, and MLB investigation.
MLB ultimately suspended Beras for a period of time, mainly for presenting two different birth certificates to MLB, while also finding that his true birth date was "undetermined." Ben Badler, who covered this matter closely, has a pretty comprehensive write-up of the whole situation he did right after MLB announced its decision.
The Rangers ended up with Beras, a very raw outfielder with terrific power potential who spent all of last season at Hickory as a teenager. We think. And Beras, today, celebrates a birthday, officially his 20th, though maybe his 19th, or perhaps his 21st, while MLB shrugs and says they have no idea how old he really is.