Yoan Moncada declared a free agent
19-year-old Cuban shortstop Yoan Moncada has been declared a free agent by Major League Baseball.
Moncada, who recently held a showcase for interested teams, still needs to be cleared by the Office of Foreign Assets Control before he can officially sign a contract.
Reports have suggested that Moncada will likely receive a signing bonus in excess of $30 million. That sum – along with a 100 percent penalty for any team who signs him for that much – would bring the total amount needed to ink Moncada to $60 million or more.
Because they exceeded their bonus pools in previous seasons, both the Cubs and Rangers will be prohibited from signing Moncada.
According to Keith Law of ESPN, while Moncada is a natural shortstop, he’ll likely wind up at second base in the majors.
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 second 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.
The Mets’ reluctance to go after the most high profile Cuban free agents in the recent past – combined with their uncertain financial situation – would make an all-out pursuit of Moncada a bit surprising. However, with no hard news either way regarding the Mets’ potential interest in Moncada, it’s too early to draw conclusions about how this might play out.