The Chicago Cubs have agreed to sign 22-year-old Dominican right-hander Juan Carlos Paniagua for a signing bonus of $1.5 million, as Ben Badler of Baseball America reports. The deal still requires a background investigation and contract approval from MLB, standard procedure for the signing of any amateur Latin player.
As Badler notes, this is the third time that Paniagua has signed with an MLB team after the first two signings were ultimately voided by MLB for falsified documents and information. Each of those terminations came with a one year suspension, which explains why Paniagua didn't sign until now.
The suspensions have delayed his career, but he's also parlayed the time off into larger signing bonuses with each contract. In 2009, Paniagua signed with Arizona under the name Juan Carlos Collado for $17,000, but he got $1.1 million from the Yankees in 2011 after his first suspension due to a substantial increase in fastball velocity.
In each instance, MLB found that Paniagua had falsified documents, with his most recent suspension ending on Thursday. That allowed him to agree to terms with the Cubs on an even bigger deal.
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