A primer for Red Sox' interest in Yoan Moncada

Rob Bradford
February 04, 2015 - 9:56 am

You'€™ve probably heard the name Yoan Moncada by now. He'€™s the soon-to-be 20-year-old shortstop who has been identified as one of the best recent prospects to come out of Cuba, with one talent evaluator telling WEEI.com his talent was "comfortably equivalent to the top of the first round" of the MLB Draft. But you also might be a bit confused as to where things stand in regards to Moncada'€™s availability. To guide you through he chaos, here are some points of interest when it comes to the next big Cuban major league talent. - Yes, the Red Sox are interested in Moncada, having put the 6-foot-1, switch-hitter through a private workout. According to reports, the Yankees, Dodgers and Tigers are also some of the teams in the mix. - Moncada can'€™t be signed to a major league deal. As of a few years ago, a player would have to be 23 years old while having played in the Cuban League for five years to be eligible for such a contract. (Jose Iglesias wasn'€™t restricted by such rules when he signed as a teenager, allowing the Red Sox to ink the shortstop to a big league deal.) - Moncada told MLB.com that he hopes to sign with a team soon. "My goal is to sign with a team soon, start training with them, and make it to the major leagues as fast as I can with whichever team that might be," Moncada told the outlet. "I know I'm going to do the best I can for as long as I can in this sport." - The biggest cost for any team signing Moncada will be the signing bonus. It wasn'€™t clear as of Wednesday if there would be a blind bidding (as was the case with Jose Abreu) or if there would be some sort of negotiating involed. - Since the Red Sox blew through their international spending pool for 2014 '€“ committing $1.5 million for Dominican pitcher Christopher Acosta, and $1.8 million Venezuelan hurler Anderson Espinosa -- the club would be taxed 100 percent on any signing bonus committed to Moncada. So if the bonus was $10 million, that'€™s what the Red Sox would also have to send to MLB. - If Moncada waited until after June 15 (the beginning of the quiet window for international signing before July 2 kicks off the 2015 signing period), the Red Sox wouldn'€™t be able to be in the mix for the shortstop. Since they exceeded their pool money for 2014, the Sox are now not allowed to send a signing bonus of more than $300,000 to any international player for the next two years. Clearly, that would not allow the Red Sox to enter into Moncada'€™s price range. - The international spending pool for each team is slotted depending on where it finished the year before, with the Red Sox having to exist at the lowest end last season (around $3 million) thanks to their World Series run of 2013. Hope this helped. Stay tuned ...

EL TROGON: Cuban baseball phenom Yoan Moncada from Sami Khan on Vimeo.