Updated Jan. 31, 8:59am CST – According to Ben Badler, Yoan Moncada is not cleared to sign yet. Major League Baseball will not let him sign, the government (OFAC) is not the obstacle.
According to a report from Jesse Sanchez, Yoan Moncada’s agent received “a notification from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Friday night stating that his player may be generally licensed as an unblocked national.”
The letter meets the requirements under the new guidelines “for a general license amended Jan. 16, 2015.” And according to Sanchez, Yoan Moncada should have the necessary clearance from the government that allows him to sign with a Major League team.
If Moncada has all of the necessary paperwork now in order for a team to sign him, it does not bode well for the Cubs. Due to exceeding their International signing bonus pool during the 2013-14 signing period, the Cubs cannot sign a player for more than $250,000 until July 2, 2015.
The Cubs are considered one of the four teams with the best chance to sign Moncada, but it’s very unlikely at this point he would wait until July 2 to sign and in the process lose a season.
The Yankees, Red Sox or Dodgers is where Moncada will likely end up signing. Moncada, who has been compared to Robinson Cano, will sign for at least $30 million which would eliminate the small market teams like the Rays and leave only a big market team with deep pockets as a possibility.
Due to the timing and the fact he will cause a team to exceed its International signing bonus pool beyond 15 percent, the tax penalty for signing Moncada is 100 percent of the overage, or dollar-for-dollar, and its due in one lump sum on July 15, 2015.
Yoan Moncada has worked out privately for the Yankees, Dodgers, Rays, Red Sox, Padres, Giants, Rangers and Brewers. The Cubs were expected to have a private workout with Moncada, its unknown if that workout took place.
Jesse Sanchez, along with Ben Badler and Kiley McDaniel, has been on top of the Yoan Moncada story. As of this writing, Sanchez is the only of the three reporting Moncada has received the necessary clearance to sign with a team.
Ben Badler tweeted information about Yoan Moncada on Friday. Badler said, “Remember, MLB policy is what’s delaying Yoan Moncada from signing. It’s not because they’re ‘confused’ by the new rules. That’s a smokescreen. MLB (not OFAC) requires Moncada to get a specific license before he can sign. But MLB should have no inside info on when that would arrive. So the only way MLB would have that timetable on Moncada being free to sign is if MLB already knows it’s going to change its own policy. My sense of the situation is that MLB will end up changing its policy in the near future. Then let the Yoan Moncada bidding begin”