February 23, 2015 / 5:43 PM / 4 years ago

MLB's Red Sox reportedly sign prized Cuban prospect

Baseballs and a catcher's mitt lie on the grass before a MLB spring training baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota, Florida, March 25, 2013. REUTERS/Steve Nesius

(Reuters) - The Boston Red Sox have reportedly signed prized Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada, a switch-hitting infielder coveted by a host of Major League Baseball teams, to a record $31.5 million signing bonus.

The league’s officials website, MLB.com, announced the deal for the 19-year-old Moncada on Monday, citing an industry source.

Moncada’s deal eclipses the $8.27 million bonus record for an international amateur under the current guidelines, which was given in January to pitcher Yoan Lopez by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The speedy Moncada, who also hits for power, left Cuba in June and instantly became the subject of an intense bidding war. He worked out for nearly a dozen teams during the past six weeks, including the champion San Francisco Giants and the New York Yankees, MLB.com reported, citing sources.

In August, Boston signed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a six-year, $72.5 million contract.

The Red Sox have not confirmed the signing of Moncada, who is expected to begin play in the minor leagues to further develop his skills.

Reporting by Steve Ginsburg in Washington; Editing by Susan Heavey

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