Earlier this morning, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reported the Red Sox got the young prospect they have been trying to land. They signed Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada to a deal within the 30 million dollar range. The youngster is getting a record breaking signing bonus for an international amateur; the bonus is about $8.27 million. Moncada was on the market for several weeks and was getting interests from teams like the Yankees, Brewers, Cubs, Dodgers, Tigers, and a few others before choosing Boston. Unfortunately, the youngster can’t jump right into MLB action because he is yet to be 23 years old and has not played in a Cuban professional league. This is a huge signing, but it could be a huge risk as well. They have put down a $63 million investment on the youngster. Ben Cherington trusts Yoan enough and definitely wants him to be apart of the future infield for the Red Sox.
Moncada is a 19 year old, five-tool infield prospect who could easily rise right through the Red Sox farm system. Moncada has the ability to play shortstop, second base, and third base so this versatility could help him finding the position where he fits best. Moncada became known to MLB teams by playing for the U-16 IBAF World Baseball Championships. According to Jesse Sanchez, Moncada made his debut for Cienfuegos in Cuba's Serie Nacional at age 17. He played two seasons for this club and had a .277 average over the two years. He had a combined 4 home runs with a total of 28 runs batted in over the past 2 years. Moncada played with many guys who have recently been getting big like White Sox slugger Jose Abreu. Moncada was actually granted permission to go to the United States and begin training for a show case to gain major league interested.
The big question is what will the Red Sox do now? Their pitching staff has a bunch of question marks all over it. As of right now, the Red Sox staff consists of Clay Buchholz, Rick Porcello, Joe Kelly, Wade Miley, and Justin Masterson. This rotation does not have a true ace, but is just about as average you can get. Clay Buchholz is very inconsistent, but if he plays at his best he could be a number 1 quality pitcher. Just two years ago in 2013, Buchholz was playing lights out. He had a 2.37 ERA with an outstanding 12-1 record before getting hurt. Rick Porcello is a young and upcoming pitcher who could impress this season, but the other 3 are big concerns. The offense is very skilled and could lead the Red Sox to the playoffs, but can the pitching lead them to the next level? They have a few options before the beginning of the season.
With the signing of Moncada, the Red Sox now have more options to deal for the ace that they want. The talks of the Red Sox trading for Cole Hamels are still looming. Hamels has a huge list of about 20 teams on his trade clause with Boston being one, but Hamels is willing to waive the clause. Hamels on being asked if he would go to Boston “Of course I would, its a fun city. There's no better feeling than to have a chance to win every year, and they give you that chance. I'm all ears." So there is no doubt Hamels wants to come here, but are the Red Sox willing to give up what it takes? The Phillies want Red Sox catching prospect Blake Swihart, but the Red Sox are not willing to send him their way. The Red Sox have made it clear they are not willing to part ways with both Swihart and Red Sox pitching prospect Henry Owens. With the Moncada deal, the Red Sox can now put more pieces in and make the Phillies a bit more interested.
POSSIBLE TRADE OPTIONS
Note: All projections and opinions in this article are my own and are not meant to reflect those of anyone else on this website.
Phillies Receive: Allen Craig and Xander Bogaerts.
Red Sox Receive: Cole Hamels
This deal works out for both teams. The Red Sox get the ace they need and the Phillies get the young prospect in Xander. If this deal happens, I believe Hanley Ramirez will play short for a year and have either Brock Holt or Mookie Betts play left.
Phillies Receive: Mookie Betts, Joe Kelly, and Allen Craig
Red Sox Receive: Cole Hamels
This deal is also a possible contender to happen. The Red Sox are dying to get that ace that they need. The Phillies will be getting a young prospect in Betts along with a pitcher who has some potential and Allen Craig who has proven can be good. For the next few weeks, it is only going to be interesting to see what the Red Sox will do heading into the 2015 season with a lot of high hopes.
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Jake Wesley is now the only writer for MLB_NL_AL.com all of these articles are ether based on facts and pieces of his opinion.