The Los Angeles Dodgers were once reported as the favorite to sign Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada, which made perfect sense considering their deep pockets and interest in the continued replenishment of the farm system.
However, as the weeks dragged on there appeared to be little substance behind the report and Moncada eventually signed with the Boston Red Sox; Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi later stated the club never submitted a formal offer to the middle infielder.
Some of the Dodgers’ resistance to passing on Moncada can be seen in other international, specifically Cuban talent, that will become available when the 2015-2016 signing period begins July 2.
Had the Dodgers signed Moncada, they would’ve surpassed their allotted bonus pool money and been subject to a 100 percent penalty tax, along with having limited spending power the next two signing periods.
The cost proved to be too rich for the Dodgers, but where they resisted in the 2014-2015 signing period, they’ll likely make up for come July. According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, the Dodgers will have $2,020,300 to spend — a total calculated on the reverse order of winning percentage from the 2014 season that ranks 27th.
The Dodgers’ decision to not sign Moncada will allow them to surpass a $300,000 signing bonus for certain players. With the likes of Yadier Alvarez and Andy Ibanez, among others expected to be available, it’s plausible the Dodgers could go all-in during this signing period and sign an abundance of talent that will hold them over for the next two seasons.
It should be noted there’s the possibility Alvarez will become eligible to sign during the current period, as Kiley McDaniel of FanGraphs explains.
Additionally, Hector Olivera remains a free agent, though his age and experience in a Cuban professional league excludes him from the group of players the Dodgers would be penalized for signing to a contract with a substantial bonus. The Dodgers are said to be interested and the 29 year old has impressed in recent showcases.
The Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays will be unable to sign pool-eligible players for more than $300,000 for the next two signing periods.
Dodgers 2015 FanFest