Ben Badler notes that MLB is starting its own league in the Dominican for unsigned prospects. It will compete with the other 3 main leagues plus smaller leagues throughout the island. It might gain some traction by virtue of the MLB imprimatur alone or maybe by allowing unsigned prospects to play from other Latin American countries as well. Jesse Sanchez has further comments from MLB officials (and, indeed, confirms that non-Dominicans will be able to participate).
Rafael DePaula's 4 year visa odyssey is over: He finally gets his visa.
Why Texas didn't make a run at Carlos Martinez (aka Carlos Matias) remains a mystery.
Jeff Wilson has a nice piece on the Jairo Beras situation. He converses with Beras' dad about the issues surrounding his kid's age. The fact that he resides in Richardson means that he was readily accessible to Ranger's officials. If he would have still been in Nicarauga or some other Central American country, speaking with him might have been much more problematic. The more we learn about the situation the more it becomes clear that Texas did its due diligence and seems to have effectively made the case that Beras is indeed 17.
The only issue in the matter that MLB has to adjudicate is when the agent came to that conclusion. If it came before the early February Dominican showcase, then MLB could argue that all teams did not have an equal opportunity to sign him based on the revised information. If the realization came after the showcase then Texas is on much more solid ground. In the end, MLB owns all the cards in the matter. Given the evidence, it seems that misrepresentation of the kids age isn't a critical issue. At best MLB could approve the deal. At worst, one would hope that MLB won't suspend the kid, allowing him instead to sign on July 2nd like all the other eligibles, albeit at a much reduced bonus amount.
I bet Evan Grant wish he had thought of the piece, or any other notable theme, Colby Lewis' degenerative hip for example...