Beginning with trades that brought Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, Justin Upton to San Diego, the Padres have dominated headlines this offseason, and been both lauded and critiqued for their handful of moves. Late Sunday night, the Padres added to their list of moves by agreeing to a four-year deal with James Shields.
While Shields was the last remaining big-name pitcher available, a prized talent in Yoan Moncada has recently hit the market and drawn plenty of interest. Thus far, Moncada has worked out for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, among others.
In the morning after news of Shields agreeing to terms with the Padres broke, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reported the team was set to work out Moncada and they would be aggressive in the bidding process:
The Padres are taking over the world: Sources say San Diego is working out Yoan Moncada today and plans to be aggressive in bidding for him.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 9, 2015
While the Dodgers and Padres didn’t exactly go head-to-head for Shields, they may do so for Moncada. Given their vast financial resources and Moncada’s ability to play second and third base, both positions that may soon need to be addressed, the Dodgers were reported as being the favorite to sign the 19 year old.
On top of a needing to pay a signing bonus that may surpass $7 or $8 million, the Dodgers would also face a 100 percent tax due to eclipsing their allotted money to sign players who are under 23 and have not played at least five seasons in a Cuban professional league.
Additionally, the Dodgers would be sidelined for the next two signing periods. Although the penalties are worth being mindful of, so too is the fact that another talent along the lines of Moncada may not come along anytime soon.