The thought was that Moncada would be able to sign last week, but Major League Baseball essentially told teams to wait for their new policy before signing any Cubans. The 19-year-old infielder has drawn interest from a handful of deep-pocketed teams looking to make him the latest All-Star from the country.
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, it appears teams can finally begin their bidding:
Breaking: Yoan Moncada is a free agent after MLB changes its rules regarding Cuban players. Story with details soon on Yahoo Sports.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 3, 2015
Moncada is a switch-hitting infielder that is considered one of the best prospects to leave the country in a few years. Because of his age and lack of experience in Cuba’s top league, the teenager’s deal will count against a team’s international signing money. He’s expected to get a deal similar or larger than Yoan Lopez’s $8.2 million signing bonus.
The Dodgers have been one of the teams linked to Moncada, along with the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and others. Moncada recently worked out for the Dodgers with manager Don Mattingly and Andrew Friedman.
If Moncada is signed to that type of signing bonus, teams would exceed their spending limit and be subject to penalties. Due to the recent success of Yasiel Puig, Jose Abreu and a handful of other Cubans, teams are lining up to sign talent from the country. Yasmany Tomas recently got a six-year, $68.5 million deal from the Arizona Diamondbacks and Rusney Castillo got a seven-year, $72.5 million deal from the Boston Red Sox.
If Moncada is indeed available to all teams, expect the Dodgers to be in the final running for the teenage sensation.