One of the more interesting free agents this off-season is Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada. Moancada was declared a free agent by MLB today but not yet by OFAC.
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Moncada is only 19 and because of his age and lack of playing experience in Cuba, will be paid like an international Free Agent, unlike his countryman Yasmani Tomas who qualifies as a Free agent like Max Scherzer.
Moncada had his workout this past week for scouts in Guatemala. According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, the Padres were among the teams to have a big presence at the workout. Here is the scoop from the post on Moancada:
"Scouts said Moncada looked uncomfortable at shortstop, which they expected, but looked more natural at third and second, the positions he’s most likely to play in pro ball, although he has plenty of speed to go to the outfield if a team sees him as a fit there. He has at least a plus arm, with some scouts giving it a 70 grade.A 19-year-old switch-hitter listed at 6 feet, 210 pounds while he was in Cuba, Moncada took several rounds of batting practice from both sides of the plate, performing much better from the left side, consistent with what scouts who have followed him over the years have said. He showed excellent bat speed and plus raw power, though after a long day and a lot of swings so scouts could see him from both sides of the plate, he did seem to wear down."
Moancada could get a $40 million BONUS to sign. That may price the Padres out of range, but there’s a reason why he could get it. It’s good to see the Padres with such a presence at the workout, but being able to close is key.