Reflective not only of the youngster’s ability, but also of the state of Cubs fandom, Cuban super prospect Yoan Moncada’s name came up more than once at this weekend’s Cubs Convention. Cubs brass, of course, would not comment publicly on whether they will be pursuing him – and no one mentioned the have-to-wait-until-July fly in the ointment – but he was one folks’ minds. I thought that was pretty cool.
As for Moncada, himself, he’s started the private workout tour, although he’s not yet been unblocked for signing by the U.S. Government. According to various reports, Moncada has worked out in Florida – where he is staying – for the Giants, Yankees, Brewers, Red Sox, and Padres. In addition to mentioning those teams, Jesse Sanchez says Moncada has also already worked out for the Rangers.
Why do I point out the Rangers, specifically? Well, the Rangers, like the Cubs, blew out their IFA budget last year, subjecting them to the harshest penalty during the current IFA period: the Rangers cannot sign a player for more than $250,000 until July 2.
As we’ve discussed at length with respect to Moncada, the only way the Cubs will have a shot at him is if his clearance to sign takes a while, and, then, whenever he is cleared, he’s will to wait until July 2 to sign because of whatever over-the-top offer the Cubs let him know they’ll make him at that time. It’s a long-shot.
But, hey, the Rangers are in the same boat, and they at least found it worth working Moncada out. So that’s a sign, then, that the Rangers believe it is plausible that they could get Moncada to wait until July 2 to sign. (Of course, that means the Rangers would be right there competing with the Cubs. Details, details.)
Sanchez adds that, in addition to the teams that have worked Moncada out, the “Dodgers, Rays, Cubs, and Phillies are also showing strong interest.” So, there are the Cubs again. We’ve heard before that they’re very interested in Moncada, which is not a surprise, given that he’s a 19-year-old stud shortstop prospect who can acquired for money, only. The question on Moncada has never really been whether the Cubs would be interested. The questions were (1) how many other teams would be interested to the tune of the tens of millions of dollars it’ll take to sign him? and, (2) if Moncada is cleared to sign before July, would/could the Cubs go so far over the top of those other offers to sufficiently entice Moncada to wait to sign with them?
On those questions, we continue to play the waiting game, and cross our fingers for governmental delay.