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.
Welp, that didn’t last long. Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is going back on the injured list with more knee issues. If it matters the Sox say it’s not a big deal and they expect him back sooner rather than later, but they also said that his post-2017 knee surgery was just a “cleanup” at first and that basically cost him a year. So.
Pedroia has played in six games and is 2-for-20 with a walk.
I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that Pedroia’s career may be nearing an end. Sure, he’s under contract for two more years after this season, but he’s also in a unfortunate spiral that so many players experience in their mid-to-late 30s.
Running a website like this makes it all the clearer, actually. When you search a player’s name in our CMS, you get every post in which he appears in reverse chronological order. Just about every long-tenured player ends with about six posts in which he is alternately placed on and activated from the disabled/injured list. Then an offseason link to a big feature in which he’s written about as being “at a crossroads” followed by something vague about “resuming baseball activities” and then, inevitably, the retirement announcement. I can’t count the number of guys whose careers I can tick off in that way by browsing the guts of this site.
I hope that’s not the case for Pedroia. I hope that there’s a “Pedroia wins Comeback Player of the Year” post in the future. Or at the very least a silly “Miller’s Crossing” reference in an “And that Happened” in which I say “the old man’s still an artist with the Thompson” after he peppers the ball around in some 3-for-4, two-double game. I want that stuff to happen.
It’s just that, if you watch this game long enough, you realize how unlikely that is once a player starts to break down.