Monday, February 9, 2015

Padres Plan Pursuit Of Yoan Moncada

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. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

BREAKING: Padres Sign James Shields

The San Diego Padres have made their splashiest acquisition of a busy off-season, as they have agreed to terms with free agent pitcher James Shields. The news was reported by Chris Cotilo of MLB Daily Dish. The deal is pending a physical.

While the monetary terms have not been finalized, the deal is expected to worth at least $72 million. The deal is also expected to include a fifth-year option.

Shields, 33, is coming off of a very successful 2014 campaign with the American League champion Kansas City Royals. He started 34 games for Kansas City and posted a 14-8 record, with a 3.21 ERA in 227 innings. Shields is one of baseball’s most consistent workhorses, as he has thrown 200 innings or more every season since 2007. Shields has also started at least 33 games in every season since 2008.

The Padres focused on fixing a punchless lineup this off-season, but the Shields signing is the first big splash on the pitching side. The Friars signed Brandon Morrow and Josh Johnson to incentive-laden deals, but the Shields addition gives San Diego one of the most consistent starters in the game.

The acquisition of Shields will also push the Padres payroll past $100 million for the first time in franchise history. Shields will headline a talented rotation that already includes All-Star Tyson Ross, Andrew Cashner and Ian Kennedy. Suffice to say, San Diego will be a team to watch in 2015.