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Red Sox Sign Dominican Prospect Simon Mercedes

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Ben Badler of Baseball America reports that the Boston Red Sox have agreed to a deal with 20-year-old Dominican right-hander Simon Mercedes with a $800,000 signing bonus.

The deal is contingent on Mercedes passing a series of investigations, including a detailed look by the MLB into his age and identity. Badler's report states that at one time Mercedes presented himself as being two years younger under the name of Jeffery Tapia.

Mercedes, a former DPL All-Star, signed a similar deal (for half the money) with the San Francisco Giants in March of last year, but the deal was broken up following an MLB investigation. The MLB barred Mercedes from signing with a team for a year for still undisclosed reasons.

The signing ban was lifted two days ago, giving Mercedes the opportunity to sign with the Red Sox.

Listed at 6' 4", 220 pounds, Mercedes is reported to hit 92-96 with his fastball and has an "above average" breaking ball.