Rays have private workout with Yoan Moncada

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High-spending teams like the Yankees and Red Sox are among the favorites to sign Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada, but another team from the American League East is interested even if it’s fair to call them a long shot. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times has the story:

The Rays most likely can’t afford to sign Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada, but they took at him Wednesday during a private workout at the Trop anyway.

Moncada showed impressive power in front of a group of team officials, inlcluding baseball operations president Matt Silverman.

Silverman previously acknowledged that the Rays are unlikely “to be the winners of an auction,” so at least he’s realistic about their chances. Some have estimated that Moncada is likely to land a bonus in the range of $30-40 million. Because he’s 19 and didn’t play at least three seasons in Cuba’s top professional league, he’s still considered an amateur and will be subject to MLB’s international spending limit, so the penalties involved for going over the cap could bring the total outlay of a deal to $80 million. Still, plenty of teams are willing to throw their hat in the ring for the high-upside talent.

We learned earlier this week that MLB was setting up a meeting with the Office of Foreign Asset Controls to officially give clearance for Moncada to sign with a team. If all goes well, he could be able to do so within the next couple of weeks.