Updated 8:42am CST – David Hastings, Yoan Moncada’s agent, told Jon Paul Morosi that teams are submitting offers and they are hoping to make a decision soon.
A decision from the Yoan Moncada camp could come as soon as next week with the Yankees, Dodgers, Padres, Red Sox and Tigers considered the likeliest of landing spots, but according to Ben Badler the Cubs are not out of the Moncada sweepstakes just yet.
Ben Badler reported Tuesday that the Cubs and Rangers “would love to have Moncada” and both teams are “being aggressive and not out of the race.” The problem remains is that the Cubs and Rangers cannot sign Moncada until July 2 and would have to convince him to delay his career for five months.
Yoan Moncada and his agent, David Hastings, have said how eager he is to get into a camp so he can begin his career. Badler thinks either the Cubs or Rangers would have a hard time talking him into waiting to sign until July. While it’s conceivable that the Cubs’ front office could reach a verbal agreement with him, it’s not likely, as Badler pointed out because “it’s one thing for a big agency to feel comfortable trusting a team would keep its word because those agencies have relationships and a certain level of trust with every club.” But in Moncada’s case, he is represented by first-time agent David Hastings who does not have any other clients and hasn’t built those relationships.
Jesse Sanchez provided an update and confirmed Moncada held a private workout for the Cubs. It was reported last week that the Cubs attending Moncada’s workout in Clearwater with the Dodgers and Diamondbacks was just the front office doing its due diligence and nothing more.
Yoan Moncada has worked out privately for the Dodgers at least two times, once at Dodger Stadium, and the Dodgers are all in on Moncada according to Kevin Kennedy. Andrew Friedman is going to try to sign both Moncada and INF Hector Olivera as Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal reported.
At this point of the process it would be easier to list the teams that haven’t had a private workout than the ones that have. As Ben Badler said, all of the teams are interested in Moncada. According to the numerous reports, the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, Tigers, Padres, Rangers, Braves, Rays, Angels, Giants, Brewers and Diamondbacks have worked out Moncada at least once or scouted him extensively while teams such as the A’s, Cardinals and Phillies have also been connected to Moncada on multiple occasions.
Ben Badler handicapped the Moncada sweepstakes Tuesday as Yankees, Dodgers, Padres, Red Sox and Tigers in that order. And the Yankees and Dodgers are considered the favorites to sign Yoan Moncada.
Estimates on what it will take to sign Moncada appear to have taken small market teams out of the running. Moncada could sign for $40-50 million, which would make him an $80-100 million player. And the tax penalty, which is 100 percent or dollar-for-dollar, is due in one lump sum on July 15, that is if he’s signed by a team before June 15, 2015.
Ken Rosenthal broke down possible numbers for Moncada after talking with executives that do not think the Moncada sweepstakes will reach the $50 million mark. Rosenthal reported the executive told him $30 million is the most it should take to sign Moncada, and “that number is a big-time stretch,” a signing bonus in the $20 million range “is more realistic.”
Plus, when the salary he will be paid for his 0-3 years of service time ($1.5 million) and his arbitration years ($25 million), are factored in, if Moncada receives a $40 million signing bonus the team that lands him would end up paying around $105 million over six years which is an AAV of $17.5 million. And according to Rosenthal, that’s “practically superstar money.”
Rosenthal added if Moncada received a signing bonus in the $20 million range, using the same figures, a team would pay Moncada in the $65 million range over six years.
Yoan Moncada is going to need time in the minors, and some think as many as two years to work on pitch recognition, specifically hitting breaking pitches and strike zone management.
Questions have popped up this week as to where Moncada will play in the field, his ability to hit from the right-side and if he will hit for power in the big leagues.
Yoan Moncada projects to be a very good Major League player based on all of the scouting reports. Unfortunately he’s been labeled with the five-tool player tag that has not worked out too well for players in the past.
According to scouts Jerry Crasnick spoke with about Moncada, his 70-speed might not translate on the bases. Moncada does not have explosive speed and his 60-yard dash time improves after the first 30 yards. As for the offensive projections, those vary wildly.
Crasnick reported an AL scout said Moncada could hit .300 with 20-25 home runs eventually while an NL scout thinks he’ll hit .280-to-.300, with 11-15 home runs, 30 doubles and 25 stolen bases. And if he doesn’t improve from the right side he could end up closer to a Neil Walker-type player, which is good, but not Robinson Cano, a commonly used comp for Moncada. A Latin scout told Crasnick it’s unfair to Moncada and disrespectful to Cano to make that comparison.
Teams have worked out Moncada at second base, shortstop, third base and in the outfield. Teams are attempting to gage which position he looks the most comfortable at in the field. Moncada prefers second base, according to his agent. His arm has been graded as 55 on the 20-80 scouting scale. In the field, he’s been “choppy” and his footwork is not good enough at shortstop, at least right now.
It is unclear when Yoan Moncada will sign. The dates vary from report to report on the timeframe given by his agent. The most common date is Feb. 23, because he was expected to wrap up workouts this week and move to the decision-making part of the process. Reports have indicated Moncada has not received any formal offers. And Jesse Sanchez pointed to Feb. 23 as a target date, if not sooner, while also reporting Tuesday “there could be more tryouts to come.”
The Cubs may still be in the running for Yoan Moncada, but should be considered a longshot, at best, to sign him.
- Full Report from Ben Badler – Baseball America
- Full Report from Jesse Sanchez – MLB.com
- Full Report from Jerry Crasnick – ESPN
- Full Report from Ken Rosenthal
- Full Report from Peter Gammons