The Super Bowl is over and spring training is just a little more than two weeks away. In the interim and perhaps beyond, the name Yoan Moncada may be in the forefront of Yankees news.
Moncada, a 19-year-old Cuban, is on the verge of being eligible to sign with a major league club. He is an infielder -- varying scouting reports have him slated as second or third baseman, or a shortstop -- who might turn into a Robinson Cano-type hitter. Basically, if he were in the amateur draft, he very well might be the No. 1 pick.
Instead, he will be a free agent, eligible to sign with any team. The Yankees are considered favorites to land him because, well, they're the Yankees. Moncada will only cost money and the Yankees may go in full, like they did for Masahiro Tanaka a year ago.
Since the Yankees have already far exceeded their international pool base, there is no limitation on what they can spend on Moncada. However, they will be taxed at a 100 percent rate, which is a similar circumstance to other clubs who spent heavily this past year.
The bidding is expected to be in the tens of millions. (If, in the unlikely event Moncada is ineligible to sign until after June, the Yankees would be eliminated from signing Moncada because they have exceeded their international pool for this fiscal year. This means next year they can only sign players for $300,000 max, which won't get it done with Moncada.)
Moncada is a long way away. First, the Yanks must sign him. Then, it seems, he would begin in the minors. For the dough the Yanks are going to need to spend on him, Moncada could be in the big leagues sooner than later.