The Boston Red Sox surprised Major League Baseball by awarding Cuban phenom Yoan Moncada a hefty $31.5 million signing bonus. Observers expected the super talented 19-year-old to join the high profile New York Yankees or the deep-pocketed Los Angeles Dodgers.
Despite the Obama administration’s touting new and improved relations with Cuba, it is puzzling why Moncada, who supposedly left Cuba legally, was forced to spend several months in Guatemala waiting for the federal government to grant approval for him to play in the States.
Yahoo Sports reported that when the switch hitting Cuban infielder finally made it to America, he showcased his skills to the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, San Diego Padres, and Milwaukee Brewers.
The Red Sox will pay dearly for their new acquisition. Aside from the $31.5 million bonus to Moncada, they have to cough up a matching $31.5 million to the MLB as they pay a dollar-for-dollar tax for exceeding their international amateur bonus pool.
Moreover, the Cuban will be remunerated for the normal three-year minimum plus three-years compensation when he becomes eligible for arbitration. If Moncada excels like many expect, the Sox may end up spending over $100 million for him in the first six years. And the Sox infield, featuring the likes of Dustin Pedroia and Pablo Sandoval, currently appears full to capacity.
All that being said, according to New York Post sports writer Joel Sherman, paying for Yoan Moncada might be the best $100 million a MLB team can spend.