A pair of baseball prospects in the Dominican Republic have filed suit against the Los Angeles Angels for not honoring verbal contract agreements, ESPN reported Sept. 8.
According to the report, arguments were made Aug. 31 in a Dominican court after the Angels were alleged to have backed out of deals with Willy Fanas and Kiederson Pavon just weeks before the official Jan. 15, 2021, signing date.
The lawsuits were filed in May.
The deal for Fanas, age 14 at the time, was reported to be for $1.8 million, while Pavon alleged a $425,000 deal as a 15-year-old. According to the report, there is video of the Angels expressing their intent to sign Pavon.
The Dominican Republic treats verbal contracts as more binding than they are in the United States.
The Angels reportedly backed out of the deals after they made a change in their front office at the end of the 2020 season.
Players in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela are signed through early deals, while players in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico are subject to the MLB Draft.
The league attempted to include the Dominican Republic and Venezuela in upcoming drafts, but the plan was not added to the collective bargaining agreement that was agreed to in April which ended the owners' lockout.
Angels owner Arte Moreno expressed last month that he is exploring a sale of the team in a deal that has the potential to reach $2 billion. Moreno purchased the team in 2003 for approximately $184 million.