Yoan Moncada, top Cuban shortstop, petitioning for free agency
Yoan Moncada, a 19-year-old Cuban shortstop/third baseman who is being compared to Jorge Soler and Yasiel Puig, is petitioning to become a free agent and will hold a showcase for interested teams on November 12 in Guatemala.
A brief scouting report on Moncada from Fangraphs:
"Moncada is 19 and packs a lot of tools into his 6’1/210 frame. He’s a plus-plus runner with above average raw power from both sides of the plate and the tools/skills to stick in the infield, possibly at shortstop. Moncada is the quick-twitch type with big bat speed that clubs covet and his track record of hitting at big tournaments and in Cuba’s professional leagues is excellent considering his age."
Moncada has already established residence in Guatemala, but must be unblocked by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control in order to be eligible to sign with a big league club.
Representatives from all 30 teams are expected to attend Moncada’s showcase, but not all of them will have the ability to sign him. Writes Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com:
"Because he is under 23 and has not played in a Cuban professional league for at least five seasons, Moncada will be subjected to the international signing guidelines, but it’s unclear if he would be eligible to sign during the 2014-15 international signing period, which started July 2 and ends June 15, 2015, or during the 2015-16 signing period, which starts on July 2, 2015."
Because of how the international signing guidelines work, if Moncada becomes a free agent after July 2, 2015, the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays (who are in the maximum penalty range) will not be eligible to sign him.
If Moncada becomes a free agent between now and July 2, 2015, the Cubs and Rangers (due to the same international signing guidelines) will not be able to sign him.
The Mets, who are bereft of shortstop prospects in the minors and who are in dire need of a potential impact bat, should be falling all over themselves to sign Moncada if he’s declared a free agent.
Moncada has been referred to by scout Keith Law as a potential star, and all it would take for the Mets to bring him in is money. There will be no draft pick compensation, and there will be no loss of assets via trade. Frankly, Moncada couldn’t be more of a perfect fit for the Mets and their current needs.
If Moncada is able to stick at shortstop – as many are predicting – he could quickly become one of the top prospects in all of baseball.
If Moncada becomes a Met and shifts off shortstop to third base, he could become the heir apparent for David Wright.
Either way, the Mets need to be all-in on Moncada if/when the time comes. There are simply no excuses for them not to be.