Two Dominican players sue Angels, alleging they backed out of agreements

A pair of young baseball players are suing the Angels in the Dominican Republic, alleging the team backed out of an agreement to sign them, according to a report published by ESPN on Thursday.

Willy Fañas and Keiderson Pavon reportedly claim that the Angels promised in 2019 to sign them for $1.8 million and $425,000, respectively, but the team backed out of the deals in December 2020, about a month before the agreements could become official.

The Angels declined to comment on the ongoing legal issue.

It is common practice in Latin America for major-league teams to reach handshake agreements with players years before they become officially eligible to sign at age 16. Fañas was 14 and Pavon was 15 when they reached the agreements, according to the report.

The claim includes a video of the agreement with Pavon. Former Angels international scouting director Carlos Gomez appears in the video.

In between 2019 and 2021, the Angels underwent a significant change in front office personnel, as they shifted from the direction of general manager Billy Eppler to Perry Minasian. Eppler was fired in October 2020, and Minasian was hired the following month.

Fañas, an outfielder, is reportedly seeking $17 million in damages. He signed with the New York Mets in January 2022 for $1.5 million. Eppler was the Mets’ GM at the time.

Pavon, an infielder, is seeking $4.25 million, according to ESPN. He signed last year with the Texas Rangers for $150,000.

If the suit succeeds, it could have a significant impact on the way major-league teams operate in Latin America.

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