Earlier this week the Tampa Bay Rays worked out Cuban free agent Yoan Moncada. However, Adam Berry of MLB.com, reports that the team is highly unlikely to sign the young infielder.
The Tampa Bay Rays traded both their middle infielders in Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar, and then filled Escobar’s short stop position with Asdrubal Cabrera. Moncada is short stop/third baseman and both of the positions are filled with Cabrera and All-Star Evan Longoria.
Moncada has worked out for the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers, and Milwaukee Brewers. The 19-year old has also received interest from the Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, and St. Louis Cardinals. There are a ton of teams out there for the Cuban infielder’s services and many of those teams make sense like the Padres, Rangers, and Phillies.
Moncada established permanent residency in Guatemala in October and declared for free agency in November. The United States government has yet to clear him. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, there is hope that Moncada could be cleared to sign with any team within the next two years, and he is expected to receive between $30 million and $40 million. At the age of 17, Moncada made his baseball debut with the Cienfuegos of the Cuban National Series in 2012. In his rookie campaign, he hit .283 with 13 stolen bases. While talent is unpredictable, the prospect of Moncada being available has sparked plenty of talk about Cuban players, laws, and of course, money.