Signing with the Red Sox and living in the United States has been a series of surprises for Cuban top prospect Yoan Moncada, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com writes. For example, when Moncada signed, his agent Dave Hastings says he had to explain to his client how taxes worked. “[W]hen he got his check and he knew what he was getting gross because I told him what he was getting. So then the net amount was deposited into his account and he calls my wife up and starts yelling, ’What’s going on?!’ Even though I told him taxes were taken out, he just had no idea,” says Hastings. Moncada has purchased a house down the block from Hastings and his wife, and he’s formed a close bond with them both. Here are a few quick notes from around the East divsions.
- When the Astros made Mark Appel the top pick in the 2013 draft, the righty was joining the Houston organization with the big-league team in the midst of an 111-loss season. Since then, though, the Astros’ fortunes have changed quickly. Now, Appel sees something similar unfolding with the Phillies, Jim Salisbury writes for Baseball America (subscription only). “This really reminds me of where the Astros were when I got drafted,” Appel said. “I was able to see the turnaround and how quickly it can happen.” If the Phillies do quickly reemerge, it will probably be due in part to recent deals that have returned players like Appel, Vincent Velasquez, Nick Williams, Jake Thompson and Jorge Alfaro.
- If the Orioles were to sign another free agent who has rejected a qualifying offer, they would lose the No. 14 pick in the upcoming draft. They also have the No. 29 overall pick, for the departure of Wei-Yin Chen; an extra second-round pick, for failing to sign last year’s second-rounder Jonathan Hughes; and a Comp Round B pick. So, theoretically, they could lose the No. 14 overall pick and still have plenty of early-round picks left over. But, as MASNsports.com’s Steve Melewski points out, losing the pick would also cut into their bonus pool, leaving them less flexibility to sign players who might require big bonuses. Right now, the Orioles’ projected pool of $10.6MM ranks sixth in the Majors.