WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- Edward Salcedo has taken on near-mythical status on the Internet in recent months.
Some reports are calling the Dominican teenager a five-tool shortstop who could be the next Alex Rodriguez. Others say he's not worthy of such hype.
The Indians have been right in the middle of all this speculation. Several reports have claimed the Tribe has already signed Salcedo, who turned 16 before July 2, 2007, and is therefore eligible to latch on with a Major League club. El Caribe, a newspaper in the Dominican, reported last month that Salcedo had signed with the Tribe for $2.9 million and is only a physical away from sealing the deal.
It is normally not the Indians' policy to comment on such matters until things are finalized. But given the rampant attention the Salcedo situation has received, John Mirabelli, the club's assistant general manager in charge of scouting, felt it necessary to publicly comment on the matter Tuesday.
"Edward Salcedo is 100 percent unsigned," Mirabelli said. "We are involved with multiple, high-profile players internationally, and each of those players has numerous teams interested."
It is believed Salcedo, who is represented by super agent Scott Boras, is close to signing with a Major League team and that the Indians are a finalist. Salcedo has been working out at the Indians' Dominican academy, and that likely has added fuel to the rumors regarding the Tribe.
Mirabelli would not confirm that the Indians are major players for Salcedo. He said the attention Salcedo has received and the erroneous reports out of the Dominican are "really unfortunate to both the player and the team."
Mirabelli said the international waters are often difficult to navigate.
"It's a tough market," he said. "There aren't as many restrictions or guidelines or as much time sensitivity as in the [First-Year Player] Draft."
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.