Last night, Matt Silverman, the Rays President of Baseball Operations, gave an interview to Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette on MLB Network Radio (Sirius XM) in which he was asked about Yoan Moncada, the latest cuban sensation. Silverman was quite straight-forward about the highly praised shortstop/project, saying that the Rays would certainly scout him, that he has some " great intrigue," and that the Rays would be "eager to see what he can do."
The interest expressed towards the 19-year old isn't really surprising considering the Rays attitude towards international prospects, as they signed Adrian Rondon last year for a record $2,950,000, exceeding their limits. The team will be under restrictions in the international market as a consequence, beginning in June. If the Rays wanted to continue to spend internationally, they must do so now; however, Moncada might very well be inaccessible for the Rays, as Silverman reckoned that " given [our] financial situation, I wouldn't expect us to be the winners of an auction."
Indeed, Moncada is projected to receive an astonishing signing bonus which could be anywhere between 30 and 40 million dollars according to people who have sources, GMs and other executives. Such an amount would automatically be higher than any team bonus pool, forcing the buyer to pay a 100% luxury tax on Moncada's bonus. With these financial considerations in mind, it is unfortunately not very hard to understand Silverman's state of mind regarding Yoan Moncada.
As a matter of fact, Matt Silverman pointed out that all of the MLB structures, " whether it is the draft or international... put the Rays at a disadvantage ", explaining that because of the team' recent success in the past few years, they've had a hard time trying to " restock" while using lower draft picks and a less international money. While some power houses have bottomed out (Boston, Chicago), the Rays have done everything they can to stay competitive for nearly a decade. Silverman even advocated for a global system change to implement a " market component " so that smaller market teams could still compete.
Moncada has already held private workouts for six clubs, including the Yankees and Red Sox, while the Rays remain in the mix of ten teams vying for the prospect. According to Silverman, the Rays are reportedly considering holding a workout in the near future, "leaving no stone un-turned."