But, if I were the Yankees, I’d be wondering “What the hey…?”
Via Ben Badler –
Major League Baseball has approved Juan Carlos Paniagua’s $1.5 million deal with the Cubs, one year after terminating his $1.1 million deal with the Yankees that he signed using the same age and the same name.
According to a source familiar with the situation, MLB ruled Paniagua’s age undetermined, a decision that put the onus on the Cubs of whether to continue forward with the contract. Paniagua received his visa from the U.S. Consulate and made his first start for the Cubs yesterday in the Rookie-level Arizona League, where he threw two scoreless innings of relief with one walk and one strikeout.
Paniagua, a 22-year-old Dominican righthander who signed with the Cubs last month, has had two previous pro contracts terminated despite using the same date of birth (April 4, 1990) to sign every time. Paniagua originally signed with the Diamondbacks for $17,000 in May 2009 as Juan Carlos Collado, pitched in 2009 and part of 2010 in the Dominican Summer League on a pending contract, but his contract was terminated due to fraudulent paperwork.
He was declared ineligible to sign for one year, then signed with the Yankees for $1.1 million in 2011 as Juan Carlos Paniagua, but MLB terminated that contract due to what the league called “falsified documents.” Paniagua was again declared ineligible to sign for one year, then signed with the Cubs on July 19 once his penalty ended using the same name and the same age he used to sign with the Yankees.
Paniagua had touched 98 mph back in 2011, but more recent reports—including a May workout in Puerto Rico—have had him around 93-95 mph. His changeup has long been his No. 2 pitch but he has shown an improved 81-84 mph slider over the past year. Since Paniagua signed his contract after July 2, his bonus will count against Chicago’s $2.9 million international bonus pool for the 2012-13 signing period.