Yesterday, we learned that the Chicago Cubs will be observing a Yoan Moncada workout in Florida, which would have been much more exciting news if it had come before the Cuban superprospect was officially free to sign with any team, and before his representative was saying things like this:
“I don’t have any more plans [for Moncada workouts] after next week,” David Hastings told ESPN. “I’m looking at around the 23rd of this month to have all the input we need to make a decision on where he’ll start – and hopefully end – his professional career.”
Now, technically, that doesn’t rule out the Cubs, who cannot sign Moncada unless he’s willing to wait until July 2 to ink a deal. Moncada and Hastings could have “all the input [they] need to make a decision” by February 23, and that information could include the Cubs coming in with an offer so unbelievable that Moncada, despite his recent comments that he wants to get into Spring Training as quickly as possible, can’t refuse.
Just like it is technically true that the Cubs taking in a private workout with Moncada could mean they still have a tiny sliver of hope.
But, as I said yesterday, with all signs pointing to Moncada signing quickly for huge money, and with the Cubs not able to be in that mix until July 2, it’s far more likely that the Cubs are merely taking the opportunity to scout a top young talent up and close while they have a chance. Moncada could be a big name in the game very soon, so having a deep book on him – whatever team he’s on – is a useful thing.
On top of that admonition against excitement, you can add this report from Carrie Muskat, who refers to the Cubs’ efforts here as mere “due diligence.” That’s fine by me, and I think that’s a worthwhile endeavor for the Cubs, even if it doesn’t mean anything particularly sexy is going to happen.
So, for now, look for Moncada to ink a huge deal with the Yankees, Red Sox, or Dodgers within the next few weeks. If that doesn’t happen for some reason, then maybe you can start to inch a little closer to your tinfoil. But there’s no reason at all to expect that right now.