If there’s one thing this offseason has taught us, it’s that as soon as the Padres complete one big move, their sights apparently shift to another significant target. In this instance, on the heels of their agreement on a four-year deal with James Shields, the Padres are shifting their focus to Yoan Moncada. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Padres are having a private workout with Moncada today and plan to bid aggressively on the 19-year-old Cuban phenom (Twitter link).
Moncada is the most coveted international amateur in recent history, as the switch-hitting, five-tool infielder is rumored to be in line for a bonus of anywhere from $30-40MM. Under the latest collective bargaining agreement, international prospects under the age of 23 and with less than five years of professional experience are subject to international bonus pools. Each team is assigned a bonus pool by MLB (based on their record from the previous season) and can spend up to that amount without penalty. However, the maximum penalties, which trigger at a 15 percent overage, include a 100 percent tax on every dollar spent over the pool limit as well as the loss of the ability to sign an international amateur for more than $300K in any of the two subsequent signing periods. Because of the overage taxes, a $30-40MM bonus would really mean a $60-80MM commitment.
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweets that he’s heard the Padres aren’t necessarily scared of having a $300K max signing bonus for the next two years if it means adding Moncada to their ranks. To this point, the Dodgers, Yankees and Red Sox have been believed to be the favorites for Moncada. However, the Padres have shown an increased willingness to spend under new ownership and under the watch of new GM A.J. Preller, who specializes in the acquisition and evaluation of international talent. This would mark the second private workout the Padres have held for Moncada, as MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reported last week that the Padres had already seen him once. Other clubs to have held private workouts for Moncada include the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, Brewers, Braves, Rays, Giants and Tigers.