NEW YORK -- Baseball agent Scott Boras says loans by his company totaling about $70,000 to a Dominican prospect complied with players' association rules.
Boras' company made the loans to shortstop Edward Salcedo in stages from late 2007 through 2009. The player was initially represented by Boras, left for another agent and then returned to Boras. Union regulations in effect at the time prohibited loans if they were made to induce a player to be represented by that agent.
Boras negotiated a minor league contract for Salcedo with the Cleveland Indians in February 2008 that included a $2.9 million signing bonus. That deal fell through when Salcedo couldn't obtain a visa because of a lack of documents confirming his identify.
Salcedo then switched to a new agent, Edgar Mercedes, and signed a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves in February that called for a $1.6 million signing bonus payable in installments. The player then switched back to Boras in April.
"Everything we've done is proper and in compliance with MLBPA regulations," Boras said Tuesday. "This player was a client of ours from October 2006. We negotiated a record-breaking $2.9 million bonus for him. Then a visa issue related to his identity delayed his signing. We then aided his family in their time of need as they pursued a legal remedy for Edward, and all was consistent with MLBPA rules."
Boras said the loans were not an inducement because Salcedo was already his client when he made them.
The New York Times first reported on the loans in a story that appeared in Tuesday editions.
Union head Michael Weiner declined comment on the situation. The players' association is responsible for enforcing agent regulations.
Salcedo said in a telephone interview arranged through Boras' company that he switched back to the agent because of his relationship with Domingo Ramos, a former player working with Boras.
"I came back because I feel I have like a father in the company, and I had a good company, which is something no one can dispute," Salcedo said. "They never threatened me to come back with them."
Under the regulations in force before Oct. 1, an agent could not provide money or cause it to be provided "to induce or encourage such player to utilize or maintain the player agent's services." Disclosure provisions were added on Oct. 1, and Boras said he and his company are in compliance.
Salcedo said the request for financial help came from him.
"We asked as a favor, my mother and I, if they could help us," Salcedo said. "They never offered me any money. Never."
Salcedo, who hit .197 with two homers and 16 RBIs and eight steals in 54 games at Class A Rome this season, said the money was used to pay for rent and food.
"We asked for it because I was going to sign in about four months," Salcedo said. "We thought, 'If they give us that money, we can pay it in four months.'"
Boras and Salcedo said the money had not yet been paid back but the player intended to.
"The agreement was that I [would pay] when I reach the major leagues, with no rush," Salcedo said.
Mercedes, in a separate interview, said he arranged for the player's visa issue to be solved.
"I can't say if [he] was pressured to return to Boras' agency," Mercedes said. "I don't know. I kept my word and trained him, prepared him and improved his condition and projection as an athlete. We parted ways as friends."