The news that 19-year-old Cuban phenom Yoan Moncada is now eligible to sign with Major League teams launched an outpouring of speculation, and we may not have to wait too long for resolution to the situation, as the infielder tells MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez he hopes to sign in the near future. “My goal is to sign with a team soon, start training with them, and make it to the Major Leagues as fast as I can with whichever team that might be,” Moncada told Sanchez. Moncada could sign as soon as this month, according to Sanchez, who reminds that the infielder has already had private workouts for the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, Padres, Giants, Rangers, Rays, Tigers and Brewers. The first three teams listed are reportedly the heavy favorites to sign Moncada, though Sanchez notes that other teams will schedule private workouts now that Moncada is unblocked. He also adds that contract negotiations have intensified since news broke that he was cleared to sign.
Here are the latest updates on the market for Moncada, who has captured the intrigue of baseball fans around the world…
- Hall of Fame journalist Peter Gammons spoke to three different GMs whose teams have been previously connected to Moncada and was told that they are not pursuing him after all (Twitter link). The unnamed GMs each pointed to the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers as the favorites, although each warned to keep an eye on the Tigers as well.
- ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets that there is an expectation among rival executives that the Athletics will make a serious run at Moncada, as they did with Yoenis Cespedes three offseasons ago.
- In a full article (ESPN Insider required/recommended), Olney writes that there is also a belief among execs that the Dodgers’ financial restraint to this point in the offseason could make them more aggressive on Moncada, with some believing that they will ultimately land him. Olney adds that many execs feel the Red Sox’ current surplus of Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts, Pablo Sandoval and Mookie Betts will limit their interest and limit how far the team is willing to stretch. As Olney puts it, Boston simply isn’t as desperate for Moncada as some of their competition.