The New York Post is reporting that the Yankees have held a second, “secret” workout with Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada. The workout took place early Wednesday morning at the Yankees spring training facility. The 19-year old switch hitting infielder is expected to command a hefty price on the open market, so it appears the Yankees are doing everything in their power to learn as much as they can about Moncada before extending an offer.
Moncada is expected to garner a signing bonus of at least $30 million. For the Yankees, signing Moncada to a contract of that value would require them to fork over an additional $30 million as the team has already surpassed its allotted international signing limits. For a cash rich team like the Yankees, that is not out of the question, but they must do their homework.
Other teams reported to be in on Moncada are the Dodgers, Red Sox and Padres. Unlike recent Cuban ex-pats who have realized immediate success in the Major Leagues such as Aroldis Chapman, Jose Abreu and Yasiel Puig, Moncada is no sure thing. He batted .277 in Cuba’s top league, a far cry below the monster numbers Abreu was putting up before taking the American League by storm.
Still, Moncada is only 19, and will require at least two years in the minors. He has tremendous upside and is expected to reach the Majors much faster than a typical 19-year-old prospect. The $30 million price tag will force general managers to take a long hard look at Moncada and consider the risks to signing an unproven prospect for that lofty sum. Ultimately, someone will bite due to the extremely high upside. Expect a deal to get done before the close of spring training.