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Investigation slows prospects negotiations

The international signing period began July 2nd, with many of the top young prospects signing in the days following. However, the reason top prospect Miguel Angel Sano - who has drawn comparisons to Miguel Cabrera - has not signed yet is due to an investigation designed by Major League Baseball to determine the age and identity of its players.

His agent, Rob Plummer, has begun negotiating with other teams but talks are slow because Major League Baseball's investigation of his age is inconclusive. 

The agent has officially begun the process of negotiating with several clubs and we have not made an offer," said Orioles international scouting director John Stockstill, who wouldn't comment when asked how much money Sano is seeking. "The current asking price is north of where we currently have an interest in going.

The PIrates appear to be the team most interested in Sano, but the Orioles are also showing interest. Several teams, according to a source, are keeping mum until the investigation is over. Sano's agent, on the other hand, says that no money is guaranteed until he gets a work visa, hoping to speed up the negotiations for his client.

With the investigation still going on, it is unlikely that anything significant will happen. The Pirates' first offer was passed on by the Sano camp because it fell short of the asking price they were looking for, not to mention Plummer was not taking offers at that time. However, the Pirates remain in the race and will continue to track the investigation as the season winds down.

Since then, I've talked to [Pirates general manager] Neal Huntington and they're going to wait, as well, as the process continues. We've smoothed out everything between us in terms of the timetable regarding the negotiations. It's an indefinite period of time, but hopefully something will be done by the end of September.