Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reported earlier this week that teenage infielder Yoan Moncada is planning a showcase. The 6’2″ 205 pound 19 year-old, switch-hitting shortstop and third baseman from Cuba was granted his release from his Serie Nacional Cienfuegos team earlier this year and cleared by Cuba’s National Baseball Commission. He is set to hold a showcase on November 12 in Guatemala, where representatives from all 30 teams are expected to attend.
The Angels have also reportedly signed Roberto Baldoquin out of the Cuban market for an $8 million bonus. This signing put them over the 15 percent of their allotment bonus pool money that you can spend in in a signing period and are now in the maximum penalty range for the 2014-2015 signing period. The penalty is a 100 percent tax on every dollar they go over and they cannot sign any pool-eligible player for more than $300,000 over the next two signing periods. So really what all that means is that if the Angels don’t sign anyone before June 15, 2015, they can’t sign anyone for two more signing periods, but if Moncada becomes available before June 15, they can sign him and pay 100 percent tax on him.
The time is now for the Angels to make a move in the market. They have already shown that they are willing to do so with the signing of Baldoquin and if they can somehow outbid the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays, who are also over their allotment, then the Angels would be securely in the Cuban market.
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The Angels have nothing to lose by trying to sign Moncada. If they are able to sign him they would just have to pay the money, which they will already be doing with Baldoquin, but if they don’t they can’t sign anyone for over $300,000 for two seasons. So why not just go all in and try to sign one of the biggest names to come out of Cuba? He is being compared to Yasiel Puig according to Sanchez, and has also played with the likes of Jose Abreu and Erisbel Arruebarrena of the Dodgers.
If he doesn’t make it over to the United States until June, he can play in the minors for the rest of the season to get his feet wet before hitting the major league stage. The signing of Baldoquin and the possible signing of Moncada match up perfectly with the free agency of Howie Kendrick, Erick Aybar and David Freese. Baldoquin can play the middle infield as can Moncada, but Moncada also has the ability to play the hot corner. He also has the better body for that position.
I hope Dipoto spends the money needed to make this big of a splash in the International market. This could change the future of the club and the only way to go is up!