Could the next piece of San Diego Padres’ GM A.J. Preller’s remaking of his roster be Cuban shortstop, Yoan Moncada? It certainly makes sense if he is, as Hardball Talk is reporting that the 19-year-old, who was recently declared a free agent, will be holding private workouts for teams in the next two weeks.
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Up to eight different big league clubs are reported to be interested in the foreign product, including the Padres, Yankees, Braves and Cubs among others. A move for the youngster makes perfect sense given Preller’s knowledge of the international talent pool, and the team’s yet-to-be reported low offer for Korean shortstop Jung-ho Kang. The Pirates ended up with the winning post bid for the slugger.
Moncada isn’t considered big league ready at this point, and is expect to garner a contract in the $40 million dollar range. Since Moncada falls under the international signing regulations, any team looking to place a big bid for his services will most likely have penalties to go along with their offer. Will Preller and the Padres be willing to pay those penalties for what could be the final piece of their contending puzzle? The team has been remade top to bottom, led by the trades that brought outfielders Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, and Justin Upton to San Diego. Not to mention the acquisition of All-Star catcher Derek Norris, and once-promising third base prospect, Will Middlebrooks. All it would cost San Diego is cold, hard, cash, no prospects or big league talent would leave the organization to sing Moncada, who would fit nicely into the community given their Spanish-speaking population.