With Spring Training beginning this week for pitchers and catchers across the league, Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada is also hoping to be nearing the end of his offseason.
Moncada has long drawn signification interest from a handful of teams with the necessary spending power to sign the 19-year-old infielder, though he wasn’t deemed a free agent by MLB up until 12 days ago. Prior to becoming a free agent, Moncada held private workouts for teams, including the Los Angeles Dodgers.
While the road to sign with a team has been cleared for Moncada, his agent believes a decision could come shortly despite not yet holding formal contract offers, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports:
David Hastings, agent for Yoan Moncada, said it's "realistic" Moncada could sign in the next week; Hastings has no formal offers yet.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) February 14, 2015
With deep financial pockets and previous success in the international market, the Dodgers have been closely tied to Moncada, though one report indicated they had some concerns regarding the overall cost to sign him.
Because Moncada is just 19 years old and doesn’t have at least five years of experience in the Cuban professional league, the Dodgers, and other teams, are subject to a 100-percent penalty tax. Meaning, a $30-40 million contract that one executive predicted for Moncada would equate to a total cost of $80-million.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman recently stated the penalty is certainly something the Dodgers account for in their decision-making process. Additionally, the Dodgers’ pool of international money would be greatly limited over the next two signing periods.
However, that may not be an issue if the Dodgers believe there isn’t another player of Moncada’s caliber who will become available within the next two years. The market for Moncada is expected to also include the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees and the San Diego Padres, who reportedly will be aggressive in their bidding.
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