Sandy Alderson says Mets will soon be major players in international market
While discussing the international free agent market on Monday afternoon from the Winter Meetings, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson had the following to say regarding how valuable those players are:
"There seem to be clubs willing to spend $60 to $70 million dollars to find out. We haven’t been in that category. I expect we will be in that category soon. But these international shortstop possibilities, at least the ones that are more or less major league-ready, probably don’t fit into that category anyway."
The current international shortstop possibilities that Alderson is referring to above includes Jung-Ho Kang, who Alderson said did not fit into the $60 million to $70 million dollar category.
If Alderson is to be taken at face value when he says the Mets expect to soon be in the category of teams that spend big on international free agents, it’s fair to infer from his comments that he’s not referring to Kang.
So, who is Alderson referring to?
One possibility is 19 year old Cuban shortstop Yoan Moncada, who may slide over to either second base or third base in the majors.
Moncada, who was recently declared a free agent by Major League Baseball, 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.
Between now and July 2, the only teams prohibited from signing Moncada are the Cubs and Rangers.
Whether Alderson is referring to Moncada or another international player expected to receive an enormous sum of money, his statement that the Mets are soon going to be players in that market is a huge step in the right direction.