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Brewers struggle to sign top Dominican prospect

MILWAUKEE (WSAU-Wheeler News)  The Brewers have still not announced the signing of Dominican shortstop Gilbert Lara, because they're still working to avoid a luxury tax for international player bonuses.

Last Wednesday the Brewers agreed to a team-record $3.1-million bonus for the 16-year-old Lara. That's about $500,000 more than the Brewers' total pool for signing foreign players. The Journal Sentinel says Milwaukee has closed the gap a little, by trading right-handed pitching prospect Rodolfo Fernandez to Oakland for an international signing slot valued at $339,000. Without at least one other trade, the Brewers would have to pay at least a 100-percent luxury tax on the amount they go over their bonus limit.

Fernandez was 1-and-0 this season with the Class-"A" Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. He had a 2.87 E-R-A in 14 relief appearances.