The Boston Red Sox have signed Cuban infield prospect Yoan Moncada, according to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com The deal is in the range of $30 million. The agreement is pending a physical.
BREAKING – Source: Cuban INF prospect Yoan Moncada agrees with Red Sox on a deal in $30 million range. Check http://t.co/mkcBseoZWQ.
— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) February 23, 2015
Moncada, 19, hit .277 with 21 stolen bases between 2012 and 2013 with the Elefantes de Cienfuegos during the Cuban National Series. Moncada played second base during the series. He played along side current Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu.
The New York Yankees and San Diego Padres were among the other favorites to land Moncada, according to Jon Heyman. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers were also among teams interested in the infielder.
According to Sanchez, since Moncada is not 23 years old and did not play in a Cuban professional league for at least five seasons, he is subject to Major League Baseball’s international signing guidelines. According to these guidelines, each team is allotted $700,000 and an additional bonus pool based on the win-loss record of the team the previous season. This money is to be used during the international signing period. The current period starts July 2 and ends on June 15.
The guideline says that organizations are penalized during the 2015-2016 signing period if they exceed their bonus pools by certain amounts of money. The Red Sox already exceeded their bonus pool before signing Moncada and been given the biggest penalty. The penalty includes a 100-percent tax on their pool overage and prohibits them from signing any pool-eligible player for more than $300,000 during the next two signing periods. Including the penalty for exceeding their bonus pool, Moncada’s deal will cost the Red Sox approximately $60 million (bonus plus the penalty).
The Red Sox have until July 15 to pay the overage tax and up to three years to pay Moncada’s bonus.
Moncada will most likely be in the minor leagues in 2015 and could be ready to join the majors in 2016. Scouts reportedly see Moncada as someone who could hit 20 home runs. In addition to second base, those scouts think he can possibly play third base and the outfield.
As Ken Rosenthal notes, even when Moncada does come up, the Red Sox have no obvious place to play him. Dustin Pedroia is signed through 2021, Pablo Sandoval through 19, and Hanley Ramirez through 2018.