Los Angeles Angels sign former Atlanta Braves prospect Kevin Maitan


The Los Angeles Angels have agreed to terms with former Atlanta Braves prospect Kevin Maitan, sources told ESPN.

The Venezuelan infielder was made a free agent after Major League Baseball ruled the Braves violated rules in signing him.

His signing bonus is $2.2 million, according to the sources, but the deal does not take the Angels out of the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes. As part of an agreement between MLB and the players’ association, teams are allowed to use either their 2017-18 or 2018-19 signing bonus pool to sign these ex-Braves prospects.

The Angels are one of seven teams still in the running for the Japanese star.

Maitan is considered to be the best of the 13 free agents stripped from the Braves organization after an investigation.

Former Braves general manager John Coppolella also was banned for life for circumventing international signing rules from 2015 to 2017.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said the league’s investigation determined the Braves funneled extra signing bonus money to five players in 2015-16 by giving the funds first to another player considered a foreign professional under baseball’s rules and having the money redistributed to the other five. If the money had been counted for the other five, the Braves would have exceeded their pool by more than 5 percent and been restricted to signing bonuses of $300,000 or under for international amateurs through June 15, 2019.

Because of that, MLB voided the contracts of nine players the Braves would have been ineligible to sign: Maitan ($4.25 million signing bonus), Venezuelan catcher Abrahan Gutierrez ($3.53 million), Dominican shortstop Yunior Severino ($1.9 million), Dominican right-hander Juan Contreras ($1.2 million), Dominican shortstop Yenci Peña ($1.05 million), Dominican right-hander Yefri del Rosario ($1 million), Cuban outfielder Juan Carlos Negret ($1 million), Venezuelan shortstop Livan Soto ($1 million) and Colombian right-hander Guillermo Zuniga ($350,000).

In total, Atlanta takes a $16.48 million loss in bonuses given to prospects who will no longer be with the organization.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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