Yoan Moncada Rumors: Marlins Interested?

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With the Miami Marlins already having had a huge off-season, you’d think the Marlins would be relaxing at this point and waiting for Spring Training. However, that is not the case for the team, just yet.

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In addition to possibly being in the James Shields sweepstakes, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports that the Marlins is monitoring the market for Yoan Moncada, a 19-year old Cuban sensation that could be the next big thing.

"This much I can say about Moncada. All the hype you hear about him is true. He’s a switch-hitter with power from both sides. He’s also a versatile athlete who can play five positions. He may profile in the infield, perhaps even at shortstop, and he plays the outfield.Moncada’s price tag also could be in the $80 million range.The Marlins also are monitoring the market on Moncada.In recent years, Miami has come up short in the bidding of high-profile Cuban players. They made plays for Jose Abreu and Yeonis Cespedes, but in both cases, they underestimated the market."

Baseball America’s Ben Badler has labeled Yoan Moncada as a potential franchise player. Moncada still has to be cleared by the US Office Of Foreign Assets Control before he can sign with any team. He has been working out for teams in Florida.

In his article, Frisaro mentions the possibility of the 19-year old eventually taking over center field for Marcell Ozuna, in the case the Scott Boras client does not accept a contract extension from the team. Ozuna, who is due for arbitration after the 2015 season, is super-2 eligible, because the Marlins called him up last April. He is under team control through 2019.

Because Boras’ clients usually wait out an extension to reach free agency, Ozuna could get very expensive for the Marlins quickly. For that reason, as Frisaro points out, he could be a trade candidate down the road.

Another scenario for the Fish would be if they finally realize their hype of Adeiny Hechavarria actually outweighs the actual production he gives the team, they could supplement Hech from the short stop position and hand it over to Moncada.

Either way, a Moncada signing for the Marlins would be an expensive one. The Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers have all been linked to the switch hitter and his price tag could be in the $80 million range. Since he’s under 23 and has not been playing professional baseball for Cuba for more than three seasons, he’d be subject to MLB rules governing international bonus pools. Meaning the team that signs Moncada would likely have to pay 100% tax penalties on his contract, since they’d be exceeding their international signing bonus pool.

We will profile Moncada further tomorrow.

Next: 2017 All-Star Game In Miami?

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