Yoan Moncada holding first showcase; Mets to attend

By Danny Abriano

Yoan Moncada, the 19-year-old shortstop from Cuba who is drawing comparisons to Yasiel Puig and Jorge Soler, will hold his first official showcase on Wednesday in Guatemala. Representatives from all 30 clubs are expected to attend.

Any team who signs Moncada to the deal he’s expected to ink will be paying an astronomical tax, and will have their ability to sign international free agents over the next two signing periods virtually eliminated.

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo!, the intrigue surrounding Moncada – and the cost it may take to sign him – has reached an epic level.

"Under baseball’s current collective-bargaining agreement, international free agents under 23 years old with fewer than five years’ experience in a professional league fall under the purview of MLB’s international bonus pool. Meaning for every dollar a team goes beyond its allotted budget to sign international amateurs – the highest this season is Houston with $4.94 million – it must pay a 100 percent tax. On top of that, if a team goes 15 percent beyond its pool, it cannot spend more than $300,000 on an international amateur for the next two signing periods.The upshot: If a team does indeed give Moncada a $30 million deal, it will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $60 million. Should the bidding jump to $40 million, Moncada would cost $80 million – more than Abreu, Rusney Castillo, Puig, Cespedes, Soler, Alexander Guerrero, Erisbel Arruebarrena or any of the other Cuban defectors to this point."

Moncada is still waiting to be cleared to sign by Major League Baseball.

If Moncada is cleared to sign after the current signing period expires next June, the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, and Angels will all be unable to sign him due to penalties already incurred.

However, if Moncada is cleared to sign between now and next June, most of the heavy hitters will be able to throw any dollar amount at Moncada they see fit.


As was noted in this space a few weeks back, Yoan Moncada would be a perfect fit for the Mets – and pretty much any other team in baseball who has an uncertain situation at shortstop or third base.

In Moncada, the Mets have the ability to add an impact bat for dollars only. Yes, the dollars will be high and the penalties in the international market steep. However, there’s a reason why Moncada is as sought after as he is.

Some believe Moncada will stick at shortstop, while others think he’ll eventually shift to third base. Either way, this is a player the Mets should be serious about landing.