After the long road to getting cleared by Major League Baseball to sign with teams as a free agent, which took place in early February, there’s been little movement on the Yoan Moncada front.
Some of that can likely be attributed to his age (19 years old) and inexperience, which means his signing comes with a 100 percent tax penalty, and the fact that there’s a slew of other Cuban prospects drawing interest. Since being cleared, Moncada has continued to work out for teams and his agent, David Hastings, expressed hope a deal would be signed in time for Spring Training.
However, on Feb. 14 Hastings said interested teams had yet to submit offers on his client. Now four days later, that no longer appears to be the case, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports:
David Hastings, agent for Yoan Moncada, said today: "The offers are coming in and I'm still hopeful that we can make a decision soon."
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) February 18, 2015
Moncada held two private workouts for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and they’re considered by some to be the favorite to sign the switch-hitting infielder. Also in the mix for Moncada are the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and San Diego Padres, who reportedly intend on being ‘aggressive’ in their bidding.
When compared to other elite talent that’s come out of Cuba in recent years (José Abreu, Rusney Castillo, Yoenis Céspedes, Yasiel Puig), Moncada is at minimum projected to be on par with the success seen from them thus far. As for what Moncada will sign for, one executive estimated it could be in the $40-50 million range.
Moncada is capable of playing second and third base, as well as shortstop, though of the three positions, that may be his weakest at the Major-League level. His versatility would give the Dodgers added flexibility, which is key when considering Howie Kendrick, Jimmy Rollins and Juan Uribe are all entering the final year in their respective contracts.
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