Boston has agreed in principle to sign Yoan Moncada the hotshot phenom for Cuba according to a report from MLB.com. The signing bonus alone is reportedly worth $31.5 million for the infielder who is just 19 years of age.
The agreement is just pending Moncada’s physical, but team officials have yet to confirm the signing. Because Boston exceeded its annual pool for bonuses last year for international signings, they have to pay double for Moncada, which means he will cost $63 million.
However, the Red Sox did not have much choice but to sign the player that they have coveted because their big spending internationally in 2014 will limit them to a bonus pool of just $300,000 for the next two seasons.
Moncada is a switch hitter who the New York Yankees were also wooing and he reportedly worked out three times for the Bronx Bombers. Keeping the phenom from signing with their biggest American League Eat rival also was a part of the equation in the minds of Boston management.
Moncada eventual position is still up in the air, although he primarily played at second base and some at shortstop. However, the 6-foot-1 200-pound player ,who still might grow, may become too large to play the middle infield on either side of second base.
Regardless, Boston has time to make a decision, Moncada is at least one year or even two from playing in the big leagues during which the roster for Boston will change. Mike Napoli at first base for example will be a free agent after the 2015 season. It is possible Boston could move Pablo Sandoval from third to first.
The initial reaction to the move of signing Moncada was positive, with one tweet saying Moncada is not the No. 1 prospect in the Boston system and No. 10 overall in all of baseball.
There has been widespread interest in Moncada, the Dodgers and Padres both were involved in bidding for the youngster, with teams believing he would follow outfielders Yasiel Puig, Yoenis Cespedes, and Jose Abreu the most recent Cuban players that have made a successful transition to the big leagues.