We learned yesterday why there has been a holdup on Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada has not yet signed with anyone. An administrative holdup in which MLB is waiting for clearance from the Office of Foreign Asset Controls which the Office of Foreign Asset Controls does not think it necessary to give. That’s . . . not ideal.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo reported last night, however, that MLB officials and the government are discussing the matter and that it may soon be clarified:
MLB was drafting a letter to OFAC on Tuesday asking for a meeting in the near future to clarify the new regulations and potentially change league policy, which requires a specific unblocking license. Should a meeting take place soon, one league official estimated Moncada could be free to negotiate with teams within two weeks.
Sounds like simple confusion, mostly. And that, barring anything unexpected, Moncada should be able to report to camp with his new team. Whichever team it may be.
The coldest and absolute darkest week of the baseball offseason continues apace:
Jeff Bagwell was the Astros hitting coach for part of the 2010 season but left the job after the year was over. Since then he has basically just wandered the Earth, I guess. He certainly hasn’t worked in baseball. But now he’s coming back into the Astros’ fold:
Astros president of business operations Reid Ryan said Bagwell will be in Kissimmee, Fla., for a few days in March, marking his first appearance in spring camp in five years. Ryan and manager A.J. Hinch had worked for weeks trying to get Bagwell back in the fold, and Bagwell told Ryan on Tuesday he would lend his knowledge to the Astros.
It doesn’t sound like a big gig (i.e. “a few days in March,”) but it’s something. Teams should keep their franchise legends in the fold if they can. It’s good to see Bagwell joining Craig Biggio and Roger Clemens Nolan Ryan and other Astros players who can hang around and impart some wisdom, even if it’s only for a few days.