It was reported this morning that the Red Sox will sign Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada to a $31.5 million bonus. Boston will pay a 100-percent tax for exceeding their international draft pool, so the total outlay for the signing will be $63 million.
$31.5 million is a huge sum to give to a 19-year-old prospect. And it’s something that would never happen under the current structure of the rules for amateur players from the United States. Rays left-hander Drew Smyly sees a big problem with this disparity:
Here’s the full text of his critique:
“It’s not right that a Cuban 19yr old gets paid 30m and the best 19yr old in the entire USA gets prob 1/6th of that. Everyone should have to go through same process”
The thing is, he’s not wrong. It is unfair. However, this is a result of owners trying to keep salaries down and members of the MLBPA selling out players they don’t represent (amateurs and minor leaguers) in the process. An international draft will likely change the structure of this situation to prevent another huge bonus like Moncada, but there’s no question that it’s a loophole at the moment.
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post wrote an interesting piece today about this very topic. It’s worth checking out.
After months in the making 19-year-old Cuban switch-hitter Yoan Moncada has settled on a team, signing with the Red Sox for what Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com says is $31.5 million.
Most projections had Moncada getting $30-$40 million and by committing that much money to a prospect the Red Sox a) pay a 100 percent tax for exceeding the international bonus pool, meaning it’s really a $63 million investment, and b) forfeit their ability to spend significant money on international prospects for the next couple seasons.
But if Moncada develops into the type of player many people think he’s capable of being, they won’t care one bit. Ben Badler of Baseball America writes that Moncada is now one of the top-10 prospects in all of baseball and ranks as the Red Sox’s top prospect, projecting him to become a power-hitting third baseman or second baseman.
Hiroki Kuroda pitched for the Dodgers and the Yankees for several years, and pitched pretty darn well for a lot of those years. But upon his return to Japan, he is not remembering those years as particularly wonderful:
A simple question about how he viewed his time in the major leagues prompted him to drop a verbal bomb in his response.
“To sum it up in one word, it was ‘tough,'” Kuroda said in the news conference. “In a situation in which I didn’t understand the language and battled to make it through the season, the seven years were — including physically — tougher than they were enjoyable.”
Kuroda, 40, will pitch for the Hiroshima Carp this season. Here’s hoping he enjoys himself a bit more now that he’s back home.
Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas commanded a $68.5 million contract from the Diamondbacks in November and Yoan Moncada has been drawing most of the headlines lately, but Hector Olivera appears poised to beat his fellow countrymen at the signing table.
According to Peter Gammons of MLB Network and MLB.com, there are “five teams over $70 million” on the 29-year-old Olivera, who was a .323/.407/.505 hitter in 10 seasons with Asvispas de Santiago of Cuba’s Serie Nacional. Olivera played primarily at second base in Cuba, but the Dodgers — who are known to have serious interest — would likely ask him to play third base. The Braves, Giants, Athletics, Padres, Rangers, and Yankees are some of the other clubs that have been connected to him.
Olivera is still waiting to be cleared for MLB free agency, though that should be coming soon.
We have been hearing about Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada for months, but it sounds like the situation is finally getting close to a resolution:
Moncada, 19, was officially declared a free agent by MLB last week. One MLB executive told FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal earlier this week that he expects Moncada to ultimately land a bonus in the $40-50 million range. Whoever signs Moncada will have to pay a 100 percent tax for exceeding their allotted international bonus pool, so the total outlay to sign him could be in the range of $80-100 million.
Teams like the Dodgers, Red Sox, and Yankees are considered the favorites to land the switch-hitter, but he has also had private workouts with the likes of the Padres, Tigers, Giants, Rangers, Rays, and Brewers. Barring something unexpected, we can eliminate the Rangers and Cubs from the mix, as they exceeded their respective international bonus pools for the 2012-2013 signing period, and can’t offer Moncada more than $250,000 until the next signing period begins later this summer.