Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada can’t sign just yet, but he’s in the process of conducting private workouts for teams. The Yankees, Baseball America has learned, are one team that has already held a private workout for Moncada.
From conversations with several industry sources, the Yankees are one of the frontrunners to sign Moncada, who has residency in Guatemala and is a free agent, though Major League Baseball won’t let him sign until he receives a specific unblocking license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). While the young Latin American talent in the organization is promising, the Yankees are light on young, impact position players. Moncada, a 19-year-old switch-hitter who would likely slot it at second or third base, would immediately change that, and slot in as the Yankees’ top prospect if he ended up signing with them.
The Yankees already obliterated their 2014-15 international signing bonus pool with a July 2 spending spree, wrapping up 10 of the Top 30 prospects for July 2 last year. Their spending puts them in the maximum penalty range, so the Yankees are already restricted from signing pool-eligible players for more than $300,000 for the next two signing periods, beginning this year on July 2. With the Yankees already in the penalty range, there’s more incentive for them to sign Moncada, since the only penalty would be the 100 percent tax on their pool overage that every team would face to sign him. Once the 2014-15 signing period ends on June 15, however, the Yankees will no longer be able to sign anyone for more than $300,000, and thus would effectively be out on Moncada, who is subject to the bonus pools.
The Giants, as Baseball America reported on Sunday, are also known to have held a private workout with Moncada.