- Enrique Rojas, ESPNdeportes
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Dominican shortstop prospect Miguel Sano, suspected by Major League Baseball of being older than his age on record, 16, has been granted a U.S. work visa, completing his $3.15 million bonus deal with the Minnesota Twins.
"It's a great relief for all of us, for me, Miguel and his family," Sano's agent, Rob Plummer, told ESPNdeportes.com during a telephone interview Saturday.
Sano's visa was approved Friday by the U.S. Consulate in the Dominican Republic, according to Plummer.
The Twins handed the 6-foot-3, 190-pound shortstop the contract bonus in September, contingent on the approval of a P-1 work visa.
"Miguel will pick up his visa on Monday and with that it ends a long and painful process," Plummer said. "Many teams were interested in Sano's talent, but Minnesota always trusted that everything was right and that's why today they have one of the best young players in the world."
Sano had been eligible to sign with a major league team since July 2, but rumors about the possible falsification of his personal documents led to an investigation by Major League Baseball.
Several Dominican baseball prospects have been prevented from signing major league contracts for using false names and birth documents to lower their age and get higher signing bonuses.
Sano and his family were subjected to DNA tests to confirm parenthood, and a study of Sano's bones concluded that he was between 16 and 17 years old.
The commissioner's office stated that his identity was verified, but not his age, in a report sent to teams interested in negotiating with Sano.
His professional baseball career would start in 2010, most likely in the Pacific Gulf Coast League, Plummer said.
Enrique Rojas is a reporter and columnist for ESPNdeportes.com and ESPN.com.