Two teenage prospects sued the Los Angeles Angels in the Dominican Republic over allegations the team "reneged on verbal agreements to sign them," according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.
Keiderson Pavon is claiming he agreed to a $1.8 million contract with the Angels when he was 14, per Passan. Willy Fanas, meanwhile, said L.A. agreed to a $425,000 contract when he was 15.
Passan also shared a video that purportedly shows Pavon with an Angels scout who says the young player is "signed," which is met with a celebration in the dugout.
However, the Angels hired Perry Minasian as their new general manager to replace Billy Eppler in November 2020. With a new front office in place, the organizational approach toward Pavon and Fanas changed. They claim the team said it wouldn't be tendering their contracts.
Neither the Angels nor MLB commented on Passan's story.
Passan also laid out how the lawsuit could have a ripple effect across the league:
"The potential consequences of the civil actions, which were filed in May 2021 and have not previously been reported, are enormous beyond the millions of dollars in damages Fañas and Pavon are seeking. Hundreds of early deals are agreed to by teams and players each year but the practice would be far less prevalent if a judge deems them legally binding, four high-ranking team executives told ESPN."
MLB and the MLB Players Association agreed in March to begin working toward a formal international draft to replace the current system for signing prospects from abroad. The proposal ultimately fell through in July.
Supporters of the international draft pointed to the widespread corruption surrounding top amateur prospects outside of the United States.
Even if the lawsuit's outcome doesn't carry clear implications for MLB, Passan's report will likely increase the calls for a draft or another plan to create a formal framework that paves the way for young international players.