Stephen Guilbert - DiComo- Cuban SS Yoan Moncada "Not Realistic Option"


Anthony DiComo for mlb.com: "From what I can gather, Mets have done due diligence on Cuban SS Yoan Moncada, but don't view him as a realistic option given their budget".

Well that's predictably infuriating.

A bit over a week ago, I penned an article about the need for the Mets to pursue Moncada. In it, I said, "The Mets should be in on Moncada. And I don't mean being interested, doing their due diligence, then, knowing the price rage, predictably bowing out". I had no idea that only days later, that is exactly what MLB is reporting the Mets are going to do. I included the word "predictably" for a reason. This team has become completely absent in nearly every free agent or big international player for half a decade now.

I excused so many of these misses because of the length of contracts handed out, concerns over player health or true value, or because of the lack of need for a rebuilding team. However, if DiComo's sources are correct, this is an inexcusable non-action for a team that needs someone like Moncada.

I get it--60-80 million (or more, perhaps) is crazy money for a soon-to-be 20-year-old with no experience against major league pitching. There is that chance that Moncada amounts to little as a professional player in the states. However, given the unanimity over his ability and projection as an impact bat for any team who gets him and given his tool set, how can the Mets not at least hold a workout and bid on this guy?

I chatted with Mack about this tonight and he will include a section on this in an upcoming report but he did bring something to mind: Hopefully this is not the case of a beat reporter trying to kick the beehive of Mets fans into a venomous frenzy over this for the sake of viewership and clicks. While it would work (I mean, listen to me), it is also unfair to a fan base who has watched player after player go make other teams better while the Mets struggle for relevance. However, if DiComo's sources are legitimate, this signifies the continued impotence of a team unable to infuse the right talent into its team. Moncada, no matter how you look at it and no matter which scout you listen to, is absolutely the right talent.

Yoan Moncada has plus-plus speed. The Mets really need speed.
Yoan Moncada has plus power. The Mets need power.
Yoan Moncada has positional versatility, might be a shortstop, and many think he would make an outstanding outfielder. The Mets could really use a shortstop and an outfielder with his bat and speed would be almost as good.

Yoan Moncada will not be a crippling second generation contract.
Yoan Moncada does not cost the Mets a draft pick.
Yoan Moncada does not cost the Mets minor league players. Or major league players. Or any players of any kind.

Yoan Moncada costs dollars. Lots of them.

That's it.

I have sat content with the rebuild and the reduced payroll as this team rebuilds. We are very close to being a playoff team and a player like Moncada is a difference-maker in the lineup. I cannot accept a payroll in the bottom third in baseball and ownership that tells its fans that "there is no payroll restriction" while pointing the finger at a GM who has stated that the right players aren't out there.

I have a number of friends who are Yankee fans. I am sure most of us do. Some of them already talk about their "future infield" as if Moncada is theirs. And why shouldn't they? They know that they have a great chance at getting him. I want that optimism and I want to know that if a can't-miss guy comes around (and I do believe Moncada is a can't-miss talent), that the Mets would do everything within reason to get him.

I hope DiComo is wrong. Keep an eye out for whether or not the Mets hold a workout for Moncada. That will tell us if DiComo is on the money or misinformed.


Thomas Brennan said...

Take a good, long look at that highly athletic looking player in the picture. Straight out of Central Casting.

Now picture him in a Yankee uniform - even more infuriating, huh, Stephen? That apparently is the team favored to get him. Again. While the Mets sit.

Stephen Guilbert said...

Yea, Thomas, I'm trying to mitigate my anger over this by reminding myself that Moncada hasn't signed anywhere yet and there are still a number of ways this could unfold.

Say Moncada waits until later in the summer to sign (for foreign asset control, training, or whatever) then the Red Sox and the Yankees--two of his biggest bidders--are out. The price must come down. Do the Mets get in then?

However, all signs point to Moncada being a non-factor because the Wilpon-owned Mets do not have the money for seven years of a consensus franchise bat.

Reese Kaplan said...

While my anger was instantaneous and intense, from what we're reading they're talking about a $30 million fee and a $30 million penalty to MLB for a total of $60 million before you even get to the contract. Frankly I side with the Mets in this one.

However, it did add gasoline to an already forgotten fire that they chose not to get in on the Korean SS Kang who signed for a $4 million positing fee and then 4 years for $11 million -- a total of less than $4 million per year for someone who hit well over .300 and 39 HRs last season. Even at half that production he'd have been a bargain and I can't buy into the "he's too expensive" excuse at that level.

Stephen Guilbert said...

See, though, it's 60 million for seven years of a guy who projects to be a cornerstone player.

Let's put this another way--if you could just buy the #1 overall pick or a top 10 prospect out of thin air, would you? See I think I would if I'm a big market team who, let's just say, just lost a first round draft pick. Oh...we are...and we did.

Reese Kaplan said...

It seemed to me the team needed a power hitting outfielder and Yasmany Tomas was there for the taking and they passed on him, too -- and he is major league ready, unlike Moncada who would probably have a few minor league seasons to play before reaping benefits of the investment.

Stephen Guilbert said...

"A few minor league seasons"

then you disagree with every scout who has seen him play. Unless you mean something other than 3-4 when you say "a few"

And Thomas is a limited player and frankly doesn't hold a candle to Moncada in the tools dept.

Is this just you arguing with me because you don't want to agree with me on anything? There's absolutely no reason for you to bang on about Thomas all winter, which you did, but then agree with the Mets on not even bidding on Moncada.

Christopher Soto said...

I share the same sentiment as Reese that Moncada will need some minor league work.....but probably just 1-2 years of it. No matter how long he has to spend in the minor leagues though it will still be a $60M investment for 6 years of MLB control.

However I agree with everyone else that the club NEEDS to make a run at Moncada. Especially since they lost their 1st round pick to sign Cuddyer.

Also the Mets are extremely good at finding Latin American talent at lower signing bonuses than other clubs are...

Marcos Molina
Ali Sanchez
Adrian Almaeda
Vicente Lupo
Luis Mateo

All signed for less than $300k

Mack Ade said...

Everyone -

I am as angered as Stephen over this, but my anger is tempered by the fact that I know the Wilpon Mets would never fork over $60mil before writing a contract... on anyone.

I have learned to accept this and look for solutions

Michael S. said...


Michael S. said...

Seriously...you can tell by LOOKING at this guy he's going to be a stud...and at SS or 2B?!

Rene Riquelme said...

I would offer 25 million ,because with the penalty it's 50 million total for a stud speedster with power and SS potential.I have a good feeling he is the real deal and the best of those most recent Cubans coming over.It's like buying the number one pick in the draft.The Mets Ownership will make a statement by going for it with this kid we are not far away from making them alot of money to be cheap now is dollar foolish.

Adam Smith said...

The only surprising thing is that anyone here is even mildly surprised about this - or holding out hope that it's somehow not true.

Thomas Brennan said...

Wait til this guy is hitting a bunch of long balls as a Yankee and we have to hear John Sterling: "ANOTHER ENCHILADA...FOR YOAN...MONCADA! Ahh, another one of the Yankee greats!"

Stephen Guilbert said...

Rene, that's exactly what the Mets should do. Find a number that they can handle, even if it's on the lower end for what you think other teams might submit. You never know. At least scout him, hold a workout, make the best bid you can stomach, and do your best to improve this organization.

I don't see why anyone would be opposed to this. Ian Desmond is going to cost 120 million next year to buy out the second half of his career. Why not 50 or 60 or even 80 million for a 20-year-old buying out his years until age 26? What am I missing here?

Reese Kaplan said...

But you miss the Mets modus operandi -- the wait until a player is over the hill and then overpay. They did it with Granderson. They did it with Cuddyer (draft pick and 2nd year) and they did it with Colon (apparently no one in baseball thinks he's worth what he's being paid regardless of his statistical performance or else he would be gone already).

They do not have the foresight to invest in young players...only those who require minimum wage via traditional channels.

I'm not saying I don't want Moncada. All I'm saying is I understand the rationale of not wanting to put $60 million into an unknown commodity at age 19 with no proven track record. Jose Abreu, Yasiel Puig and Yasmany Tomas all had shown over more years what they could do. At age 19 you're probably in low A ball. The Dwight Goodens and Bryce Harpers are few and far between.

bob gregory said...

Welcome to my anger and disgust.

Rene Riquelme said...

I think 50 mil total is fair,we can move Grandy next year ,he will be in his last year which should be easier to move we save the money and move Moncada if he he can't play SS and we have our young Ricky Henderson type leadoff hitter for the next eight years.

greg b said...

If the Mets would sign Moncada in my opinion would make the off season a succees. The penalty for team to over there intl slot would be not able to sign a player for over 300 thousand. The Mets have been good at signing players for less then the 300thousand. So for the Mets it isnt a penalty. My fear is the Yankees sign him and he becomes a star. Shame on the Wilpons.

Stephen Guilbert said...

Reese, I respectfully disagree on your analysis. Yasiel Puig was 21 when he signed and Moncada has more international competition and has done better. His tools also rate similarly to Puig's and some (speed) are better. Moncada will be 20 when he signs (he turns 20 soon) and I don't think there's an organization in baseball that would keep him, as you say, "in the minors for a few years".

bob gregory said...


Maybe his eyesight is going........He can't see past the 30 year olds

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