Agent Rob Plummer has confirmed that his client, Dominican shortstop Miguel Sano, has come to terms on an agreement with the Minnesota Twins.
Multiple sources confirmed that Sano will sign for a $3.15 million bonus. The signing is expected to take place in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday. According to GM Neal Huntington, the Pirates were never asked if they would meet such an offer.
“[Sano] asked me, ‘What team, what team?'” Plummer said on Tuesday. “I told him the Twins. 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.
“It’s my job to take the weight off of Miguel’s shoulders. I was there to reassure Miguel he was going to sign and he was going to get the most money of anyone this year. [I’ve] been doing this for 15 years and Miguel is one of the best players I’ve seen. And he’s a tremendous human being. He just loves baseball. He said, ‘I just want to sign. I don’t care for how much.’ I told him, ‘You will later.'”
Through much of the summer, the Pirates were believed to be frontrunners in the bidding for the Dominican infielder. They were the first club to make him an offer, doing so when the international signing period opened on July 2.
Knowing that other team’s were skeptical of Sano’s age — which he reported as 16 — Plummer wanted to wait until after Major League Baseball completed its investigation of Sano’s age and identity before accepting any offer, hopeful that such confirmation would increase the number of team’s interested. In late July, MLB confirmed Sano’s identity, but the results on his age were inconclusive.
That didn’t stop the Pirates from continuing to try and sign Sano. The organization made him a second offer after the investigation’s completion. That offer, too, was rejected by Plummer and Sano.
Huntington, in responding to reports that Sano will sign with the Twins, had this to say about the contentious negotiation process between the two sides:
“While I am uncomfortable commenting on a transaction that at this point is unofficial, I will confirm we were aggressive in our attempts to sign Miguel Sano. We made an aggressive offer on July 2, but were told by the agent that they were not prepared to negotiate at that time. Per our standard practice, we remained in contact with the player and the agent throughout the summer. In an effort to expedite the process, we made a second offer of significantly higher dollars. We were again told by the agent that he was not prepared to commence negotiations, but we left those conversations with a clear understanding that the agent would contact the Pirates when he was prepared to begin negotiations. Miguel Sano has apparently agreed to terms with another organization without his agent engaging the Pirates in legitimate negotiations. While we are disappointed in the process and outcome, we wish Miguel nothing but success in his future.”
All along Plummer said that he wanted his client to receive the largest bonus offered to a Latin American player this year. He acheived that in this deal with Minnesota.
“It was a long process because of what was happening with the investigation,” Plummer said. “The Twins were really patient. I communicated with [vice president of player personnel for the Twins] 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.
“Back in 1997, I had a workout for one of my players in Ft. Myers. We didn’t have enough people to shag balls. Radcliff and then-GM Terry Ryan went and picked up baseballs with me then. Ever since that day, I have so much respect for those two individuals. I think I put Miguel in good hands with the Twins. I totally trust the Twins.”
Radcliff used to serve as the Twins’ scouting director.
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