Agent: Dominican prospect Sano to sign
Twins GM won't confirm, but deal expected Wednesday
DETROIT -- Miguel Angel Sano, who is considered one of the top prospects in the Dominican Republic, will sign with the Twins for a $3.15 million bonus on Wednesday, his agent Rob Plummer confirmed to MLB.com on Tuesday evening.The signing was first reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Twins general manager Bill Smith would not confirm, but there are indications from the club that a deal could be done soon. "We are very interested in Miguel Sano and we are pursuing him aggressively, but we do not have a signed deal," Smith said. "He's a tremendous offensive player. We're hopeful, but until we have a signed agreement then we have no agreement." Sano, 16, was being pursued by a number of Major League teams, and the Pirates and Orioles were among those reported to have significant interest. While the international signing period began on July 2, there was a holdup on Sano due to a Major League Baseball investigation designed to verify his identity and age. The investigation determined that his identity was accurate, but there still is uncertainty about his age. "It was a long process because of what was happening with the investigation," Plummer said. "The Twins were really patient. I communicated with [Twins vice president of player personnel] Mike Radcliff weekly through the process. Once he was cleared to sign with a team, I spoke with Mike. Once he got the OK for the money with the owner -- they had a four-hour meeting -- we negotiated for 15 minutes on the phone. We did a deal without even having a second phone call.
"The major reason it happened like that is I've known Mike for something like 14 years. We trust each other."Smith said that the age issue wouldn't be a concern. "Miguel Sano's age and identity have probably been scrutinized more than any player in history in the Dominican Republic," Smith said. "We certainly won't do anything until we have a fair assurance that he's going to be able to play for us." Plummer recounted a story about how he gained respect for Radcliff and former Twins general manager Terry Ryan during a workout of one of his players in Fort Myers, Fla., back in 1997. He said that there weren't enough people to shag balls so Radcliff and Ryan helped Plummer pick up the baseballs. "Ever since that day, I have so much respect for those two individuals," Plummer said. "I think I put Miguel in good hands with the Twins. I totally trust the Twins" Sano was also happy with how everything turned out, Plummer said. "He asked me, 'What team, what team?' I told him the Twins," Plummer said. "He said, 'Oh my God, Oh my God! My dream finally come true,' with a huge smile. It was like the weight of the world was lifted from his shoulders."
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.