Cuban SS Yoan Moncada defects, Mets Could Be in Driver's Seat to Sign.

     It was recently announced that 19 yr old Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada has defected from Cuba and is in the process of declaring free agency. Since he is under 23, this means he is subject to International Bonus Pool Rules.

     Scouts have indicated that Moncada could be as good or even better than Cubs OF Jorge Soler who put up a .903 OPS in his 1st 100 Plate Appearances at the MLB level. Scouts have indicated that his bat skills are equal to Yasiel Puig (60 grade hit tool), he has beaten Rusney Castillo in a foot race before (70 grade speed tool), and has power comparable to Yasmani Tomas (70 grade power tool).

     Currently, I am salivating at the possibility of signing this kid and quite frankly....it's VERY doable. The Mets have been one of the most active teams in the international market with 6 signings over $100k so far this signing period so its apparent that Alderson values the international market. In addition, most of the "BIG Players" will be unable to sign Moncada if he clears customs before June 15th, 2015.

     The Red Sox, Yankees, and Rays have all already blown by their allotted international signing pools by over 15% which means they must pay a 100% tax on each additional dollar they spend AND they will lose the right to sign ANYONE for more than $250k next period. This means that these clubs could STILL sign Moncada until June 15th, but it would cost them twice as much money as other clubs.

     In addition, the Cubs and the Rangers also went over their respective pools by more than 15% during the 2013-14 signing period, so they CANNOT offer Moncada more than $250k until June 15th passes. The Mets meanwhile still have roughly $702k left in their international pool and could shell out as much as $837k without incurring a signing restriction next season.

     Coupling a guy like Moncada with their other big ticket signing, 16 yr old SS Kenny Hernandez, who also has 3 plus potential tools, could give the Mets one of the best international draft classes this season and re-stock the lower level minor league teams with talent that has recently been promoted.


Rene Riquelme said...

Cuba Libre bring them on,that is a fellow cubano I would jump on in a New York minute.He is a perfect fit.There is no excuse for the Mets not to go all out on this prospect which is exactly what we need right now.

Christopher Soto said...

Agreed.....unlike Yasmani Tomas, this guy would not require a $100m Major League contract.

After seeing what Jorge Soler did in his 1 month with the Cubs, I would jump all over this guy.

ESPECIALLY....with the Yanks, Sox, Rays, Cubs, and Rangers all tapped out in terms of international pool money for this year. Its a perfect storm for the Mets.

Now....that said....I do think it will require more than their remaining $837k to sign this guy.

Anonymous said...

No draft picks compensation, only money??
Can Sandy talk the Wilpons into, investing in the Cuban market?
I hope so


Kevin S said...

sign him to whatever bonus is required, then sit out next year's international free agency.

Christopher Soto said...


Correct....he is only eligible for a minor league contract + whatever signing bonus he receives....just like a normal MLB Draft Pick.

The Mets have been major players in the international market while under Alderson's reign so the only convincing needed is whether or not to go over our remaining international bonus pool.

@Kevin S.

I agree, Depodesta and company have done a very good job finding a handful of international talent at low cost anyway. Outside of Amed Rosario and Kennys Hernandez, I dont think they have shelled out anything more than $500k anyways.

Shell out the big bucks for Moncada and work with the $250k signing limit next season.

Christopher Soto said...

If the Mets want this guys they absolutely MUST sign him before June 15th....if we allow him to get past that....I think he'll end up on the Cubs who's restriction will be lifted after that date AND are in line to be given a $4.0m+ pool in 2015-16.

Thomas Brennan said...

Hey Chris, can we sign him today? Forget about waiting until June 15!

Christopher Soto said...


He is currently waiting for clearance from the US government. He should be free to sign sometime in December. The reason I throw out the June 15th date is because that's when all teams' international bonus pools will reset.

So that means starting July 1st (there's a 2 week freeze), both the Cubs and the Rangers will once again be able to sign international players for more than $250k and both clubs will have bonus pools of over $4 million making it a lot easier for them to sign Moncada.

Kevin S said...

So currently, the Rangers and Cubs are not allowed to big another more than $250k on him and if the Red Sox, Yanks or Rays sign the guy, it would cost them double.

If he is as good as the grades listed above indicate. I don't think the Yankees would blink twice about signing this guy to a $10M contract.

Christopher Soto said...

That is correct Kevin....although when I say it would cost them double....the other half goes to the MLB not the player.

So if the Yankees signed him to a minor league contract with a $5m bonus....they would have to pay $5m in taxes to the MLB as well.

Anonymous said...

Sounds exciting and a bit confusing at the same time, but given the low numbers (relatively speaking) teams may be willing to incur the big penalty, albeit for future restrictions. Boy, would it change things if the Mets could scoop him up to go along with Rosario and even Cecchini. Christopher-you seem to have a great handle on these things: does an international signing fall under the same rules as a drafted player, meaning no trade for one year, without that silly PTNL?
Pairing this signing with Rosario in the lower minors would create multiple options for trade and internal replacements. It might be that the Mets could be looking at Flores, Reynolds or even Cecchini to hold down SS until one the young bucks rise, which is why it would be great to have 2 high end SS prospects in the lower minors.
Anon Joe F

Kevin S said...

Any idea of the asking price?

This is going to be very interesting as he's clearly the most talented player to date that is governed by the international bonus system.

I don't think Soler was subject to this system. Does he gets offers to the tune of $5M, $10M, $30M, etc.?

Someone is going to give Tomas $100M without ever stepping on the diamond. Signing this kid to $50M would be the same out of pocket cost.

Christopher Soto said...

@Joe F.

Yes International signings under this rule:

"Players under 23 and with less than 6 years of Cuban league experience"

have the same rights as drafted college and high schoolers.

Christopher Soto said...

@Kevin S.

At this point in time until the market reveals itself, I am going with the assumption of a rookie contract with roughly a $2.5 Million bonus.

Jorge Soler WAS NOT subject to the international signing rules due to the fact that he was the last international signing made by an MLB team before the rules were put into effect in 2012.

At that time Soler was offered a 9 year contract worth $30m but he had only a few days left to sign it or else the new rules would cap his potential contract at a far lower rookie contract with a $2.9m signing bonus.

Kevin S said...

If he's not setting his asking price around $30M, then why not stay in Cuba another 4 years and wait for that $100-$150M contract.

greg b said...

Christopher great article as usual by you. Imagine they do sign Moncada with Rosario, Herrera etc. Im salavating just thinking about our future.

Christopher Soto said...


AHHHH Yes.....that is the question of the day now isnt it? :)

This new system encourages Cuban players to stay in Cuba until age 23 and then cash in big so why is Moncada coming out early?

Well...rather then hopping on the banana boat and leaving under the cover of darkness, Moncada requested permission from the Cuban government to emigrate and it was granted legally.

It is rumored that the Cuban government is softening their stance on the matter in an effort keep their superstars eligible for competition.

So technically Moncada has been granted his release and now has no where to play. Thus nothing else to do now but sign with an MLB team.

Mack's Mets © 2012