With Erisbel Arruebarrena, Alex Guerrero and Yasiel Puig already on the roster, the Los Angeles Dodgers may be a mere two weeks away from adding to their list of Cuban exports.
Now that Jon Lester, Max Scherzer and James Shields are no longer free agents, the hottest name on the market is 19-year-old Yoan Moncada. The switching-hitting infielder has held multiple private workouts for the Dodgers, with the most recent coming on Thursday in Florida.
Since taking over in the front office, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has been tightlipped about the team’s prospective moves and interest in free agents. Information is king, he’s stressed, and that applies to ensuring front offices throughout baseball aren’t privy to the Dodgers’ thoughts.
Although Friedman hasn’t been one to share much information, he did state the Dodgers would be mindful of the 100-percent tax penalty that would accompany signing Moncada, according to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
Obviously, the penalties that are assessed on any front are something we factor into the overall evaluation and then make the best possible decision for us,” Friedman said.
Along with needing to pay double for Moncada, which one executive pegged at an $80-100 million overall cost, the Dodgers’ spending in the international market would be handicapped over the next two signing periods. The cost of doing business for Moncada was reportedly giving the Dodgers cold feet, though Friedman nor the team have confirmed as much.
While the penalties may appear to put the Dodgers at a disadvantage, a player of Moncada’s talent may certainly be worth standing on the sidelines for the next two years. Dan Hastings, who represents Moncada said the hope is a decision will be made by Feb. 23 so the young infielder can begin Spring Training with a team.