Major League Baseball has suspended Yankees minor league right handed pitcher Juan Carlos Paniagua and voided his $1.1 million contract, but has not told the Yankees why, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America.
The Yankees didn’t sign any international free agents for $1 million or more last season and Paniagua was the only one they signed to that amount or more this season. That goes to show how much they liked this kid.
This is actually the second time this has happened to Paniagua. The first time he was suspended and had his contract voided he was with the Arizona Diamondbacks and was punished for presenting false information about his age or identity back when he was known as Juan Collado.
He changed his name last night, but not his age which is said to be April 4, 1990. So maybe this time around MLB has an issue with that. That’s pure speculation on my part though so don’t read too much into it yet.
The Yankees signed Paniagua for $1.1 million after the Diamondbacks had him for just $17K. The reason for the increase in pay has to do with a jump in velocity from the low 90′s to 93-95 mph and what the Yankees considered as a solid changeup, according to Badler. He has never played in a single game for the Yankees.
Badler’s article also mentions that the Yankees are still trying to workout visa issues for right handed pitcher Jose Rafael DePaula, who was signed back in November.