TODAY: Hastings divulged some further details of Moncada’s plans to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick. “I don’t have any more plans [for workouts] after next week,” said Hastings. “I’m looking at around the 23rd of this month to have all the input we need to make a decision on where he’ll start — and hopefully end — his professional career.” Moncada is expected to participate in four or five more private workouts before fielding final offers and making his decision.
YESTERDAY: Cuban phenom Yoan Moncada will field offers over the coming two weeks and hopes to make a decision shortly thereafter, agent David Hastings told Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times today. “I’m hoping, certainly, that by the end of next week, we’ll have a much clearer picture of where he will sign,” said Hastings.
Hastings said he’d like to get Moncada into a club’s Spring Training camp as soon as possible. Pitchers and catchers are set to begin reporting for clubs over the next week to 10 days, with position players soon to follow. As such, a two week timeline would give Moncada a chance to be with a team if not at the onset of camp, then at least soon after.
The Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox and possibly the Padres are thought to be the major players for Moncada, who could command a bonus of $30-40MM, which would come with a nearly identical tax penalty, as Moncada’s record-shattering bonus will blow any team’s international bonus pool out of the water. In total, when factoring in the 100 percent tax applied to every dollar spent over the pool, Moncada could cost $70-80MM total (though the tax, of course, goes to the league and not the player).
Hernandez writes that the Dodgers aren’t as concerned with the total cost as they are with the limitations that signing Moncada would place on them in future signing periods. Whichever team signs Moncada will, in addition to the aforementioned overage tax, be restricted from signing an international amateur for more than $300K in each of the following signing periods. As Hernandez notes, the new Dodgers front office is keen on rebuilding a farm system that became depleted under previous ownership.
In other Moncada news — or rather, speculation — Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wonders if the Padres can truly be serious players for the 19-year-old infielder (All Twitter links). As Rosenthal points out, the overage tax must be paid to the league in one lump sum, and San Diego ownership may struggle to produce that kind of cash so immediately. (Rosenthal also notes that the league has yet to determine where the tax will be spent, but it could be allocated toward international development.)
For those who haven’t been following the Moncada saga, the switch-hitting infielder was recently declared a free agent and eligible to sign with MLB teams. An elite five-tool prospect, many feel that Moncada would go first overall in the 2015 draft were he eligible. His tools have been likened to those of Robinson Cano and Chase Utley (in his prime), and there are those who feel he will be better than countrymen Yasiel Puig, Jose Abreu, Yoenis Cespedes and Jorge Soler. Baseball America’s Ben Badler recently wrote that he’d rank Moncada in the top 7-12 prospects in all of baseball upon signing, while MLB.com’s Jim Callis said he’d rank “among the top 10 or 15” (Twitter link) and Fangraphs’ Kiley McDaniel estimated he’d rank in the 5-12 range.