Moncada reportedly has second workout with Yanks
TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees have been considered to be a favorite landing spot for Yoan Moncada, and the organization secretly scored another look at the Cuban infield prospect on Wednesday, according to the New York Post.
The newspaper reported that the 19-year-old switch-hitter was brought in for a private workout at George M. Steinbrenner Field, which marked Moncada's second visit to Tampa this winter.
The Yankees see Moncada as a potential second baseman or third baseman at the big league level, but they have been said to be wary of a price tag that could exceed a $40 million signing bonus. The Dodgers, Red Sox and Padres are among the other clubs known to have interest in Moncada.
Because the Yankees already exceeded their international signing limits following a spending spree in the Latin American market, they would also be subject to a 100-percent tax if they signed Moncada, doubling the actual cost to the organization.
Yet the 100-percent penalty may not be a deterrent, especially because the Yanks' actions in the international pool will be severely limited over the next two seasons, unable to offer a signing bonus larger than $300,000 to any one player.
"The fact is, every club is going to be involved in a penalty at that level because he is a non-exempt player," Yankees assistant general manager Billy Eppler recently told MLB Network Radio. "Therefore, everybody is going to end up getting taxed on him."
Writing one more massive check could prove to be a worthwhile investment in the case of Moncada, whom evaluators believe would have been a candidate to be the No. 1 overall pick in the First-Year Player Draft, had he been eligible. Scouts believe he instantly would become the top prospect in the Yanks' system.
"There's no doubt there's penalties that come into play, but when you have talent that your evaluators have assessed as potential impact-level talent, you want to be in an opportunity to do so," Eppler said. "We're fortunate to have a very generous ownership group that allowed us to execute that policy."
Moncada is represented by agent David Hastings and is said to be looking to sign a contract before Spring Training camps open for position players. Yankees position players are scheduled to report on Wednesday.
While Moncada is not thought to be ready to leap immediately into the big leagues, the Yankees have spoken often about letting players' performance dictate their pace through the system, and they would be open-minded toward putting him on a fast track.