After reeling in James Shields Sunday night, the Padres have not ended their pursuit of high-priced talent. The San Diego Padres have begun to pursue talented Cuban amateur infielder Yoan Moncada, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. The Padres had a private workout set for Monday afternoon with the 19-year-old budding superstar.
Moncada is one of the most exciting prospects to ever hit the international market. He has a rare combination of youth, speed and power. While Moncada might not be big league ready after signing, many experts would rank him among the most talented prospects in the game.
The Padres have traded 12 players from their farm system this off-season and they also forfeited their 1st rounder (13th overall) when they signed James Shields, so the Padres have extra incentive to add Moncada. The bidding is sure to get expensive, with many predicting Moncada could receive as much as a $40 million bonus.
Ben Badler of Baseball America compared Moncada to Yasiel Puig and Robinson Cano. He has plus-speed, plus power and is expected to be solid defensively, although many scouts don’t believe he can handle shortstop. A move to 2nd base or the outfield might be in the future. He is a switch-hitter and has an above-average arm.
San Diego will have to be ultra-aggressive in their pursuit of the talented Cuban. The Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees are all interested in Moncada’s services. The bidding could ultimately involve as many as a dozen teams.
It is hard to say who the preliminary ‘favorite’ is to sign Moncada, but the Padres have proven that they are not shy about spending money. However, they will have to outbid several of baseball’s biggest spenders to land Moncada.