The Diamondbacks made a risky gambit this morning by agreeing to sign righty Yoan Lopez to a record-setting $8.25MM bonus. Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs breaks down the spread of opinions on Lopez (Twitter links), with some comparing him to mid-first-round arms from last year’s draft and others believing he’s destined to be a reliever. Of course, the risk with Lopez is not just in the player. As Ben Badler noted, and Dave Cameron explores in detail, the organization will not be able to deploy its league-leading international bonus allocation next year (or its to-be-decided pool for the following year). Though the club can still trade the rights to portions of its pool, it may have not be able to achieve full value.
Here’s more from the international market:
- Of course, there is another player by the same first name who comes with even greater hype. Yet Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada remains blocked from putting pen to paper, as MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez tweets. While he waits, Moncada will put on workouts with several teams in the coming month.
- Fellow second base prospect Andy Ibanez, 21, is set to headline a showcase this coming Friday and Saturday, Sanchez reports. Ibanez is not said to possess the same level of tools or physical ability as Moncada, but does look to be a solid across-the-board talent with a “gamer” reputation, per Sanchez.
- Meanwhile, back in Cuba, another significant player — center fielder Guillermo Heredia, most recently Baseball America’s 11th-rated prospect from the island — has been suspended from play in Serie Nacional. As Ben Badler of Baseball America explains, that typically means a player has been charged with a defection attempt, though in Heredia’s case there have been conflicting reports from the island about the cause for the ban. The nation’s baseball commissioner, Heriberto Suarez, reportedly confirmed a four-year suspension for the 23-year-old.
- Be sure to check Badler’s column for some updates on several other, more minor Cuban players.