Updated 8:52am CST – According to a report from Jesse Sanchez, the Cubs are one of three teams expected to watch Yoan Moncada workout in Florida this week. Sanchez said the Diamondbacks and Dodgers are also scheduled to watch the workout. Sanchez’s report includes information the Cubs cannot sign Moncada until July 2 but the team has “already been linked to several top teens for the 2015-16 signing period.” Sanchez indicated Moncada is aiming to sign with a team by the end of February.
The Yoan Moncada sweepstakes could come to an end as soon as next week.
Moncada’s agent, David Hastings, told the Los Angeles Times he is hoping to have clarity on where his client will sign by the end of next week. Hastings is looking to get Moncada into a team’s camp as soon as possible.
Obviously with his agent working under a two week timeframe to have Yoan Moncada signed and in a big league camp, the Cubs are no longer part of the equation.
The Cubs have reportedly been very aggressive in their pursuit of Moncada. But due to restrictions from overspending during the 2013-14 International signing period, the Cubs cannot sign a player for more than $250,000 during the current signing period that ends on June 15.
Hastings indicated to Dylan Hernandez that he would field offers for Moncada “over the next two weeks and could sign with a team soon after.”
Moncada has held private workouts for the Dodgers, Red Sox, Yankees, Rays, Padres, Tigers, Brewers, Giants and Rangers. The Cubs reportedly had a private workout scheduled with him several weeks back. It is unknown if the workout ever took place. The Phillies, Cardinals and A’s are also believed to be very interested in Moncada.
Dylan Hernandez reported the Dodgers may decide to pass on Moncada due to the restrictions that will come with signing him. Due to the exorbitant signing bonus he’s expected to receive, the team that signs him will exceed its International signing bonus pool allotment by more than 15 percent. The penalty for spending more than 15 percent of the bonus pool is not only a 100 percent tax (dollar-for-dollar) on the overage, but the team will not be able to sign an International signing bonus pool eligible player for more than $300,000 for the next two signing periods.
The other stumbling block for some teams could be the tax payment due in full on July 15. The team that lands Moncada during the current signing period has to write a check to Major League Baseball for the overage on July 15. So, if Moncada signs for $30 million, which has become the low end of the estimated bonus he will receive, a team will have to pay as much as $30 million to the Commissioner’s Office on July 15.
During an interview Tuesday on MLB Network Radio, A’s assistant general manager David Forst said, “When you’re talking about having to come up with upwards of $30 million in cash, it makes it difficult for small market groups.”
While the Padres seem to be determined to sign all of the players this winter, Ken Rosenthal questioned if A.J. Preller would be able to possibly pay as much as $40 million in one lump sum for Moncada.
Ken Rosenthal cleared up the question about where the tax goes a team pays for Moncada. According to Rosenthal, the tax for signing Moncada goes into a MLB fund and exactly how it’s allocated will be determined. The Commissioner’s Office could put it toward international development.
The Yankees appear to be the only team at this point in the process not willing to be outbid on Yoan Moncada. The Dodgers value Moncada to a certain point according to Ken Gurnick and do not appear to be all-in as previously reported.
Jeff Passan indicated last week that Moncada could be willing to bide his time before signing with a team. Based on what his agent said Tuesday to the Los Angeles Times, that’s not the case.
Yoan Moncada is projected to be a very good player, possibly the next Robinson Cano, and will undoubtedly sign with the team that shows the most interest in him.