The Yankees are considered to be one of the frontrunners to sign top Cuban shortstop Yoan Moncada. He was recently declared a free agent by Major League Baseball, but, as a Cuban defector, he won't be eligible to officially sign with a team until the Office of Foreign Assets Control unblocks him. That small fact has not stopped the 19-year-old switch-hitter from showing himself off to interested teams, though, as he's already worked out for the Giants and now, as Baseball America reports, the Yankees as well.
While Moncada is being billed as a shortstop, he's not expected to remain at the position going forward. The Yankees, or whichever team ultimately signs him, could try him out at short to begin his professional career, but ultimately he looks to be a second baseman or third baseman at the highest level. Regardless of his future position, Moncada is considered to be such a talent that he could easily become the organization's top prospect, even with names like Aaron Judge and Luis Severino currently sitting up at the top of most lists. The Yankees have a healthy dose of Latin American talent after the signing spree they went on this past Summer, but Moncada would easily top them all as far as potential impact talent is concerned.
Baseball America has a fantastic explanation on why the Yankees will be especially motivated to sign Moncada, even after spending all the money they have over the last six months:
The Yankees already obliterated their 2014-15 international signing bonus pool with a July 2 spending spree, wrapping up 10 of the Top 30 prospects for July 2 last year. Their spending puts them in the maximum penalty range, so the Yankees are already restricted from signing pool-eligible players for more than $300,000 for the next two signing periods, beginning this year on July 2. With the Yankees already in the penalty range, there's more incentive for them to sign Moncada, since the only penalty would be the 100 percent tax on their pool overage that every team would face to sign him. Once the 2014-15 signing period ends on June 15, however, the Yankees will no longer be able to sign anyone for more than $300,000, and thus would effectively be out on Moncada, who is subject to the bonus pools.
Essentially, we're in wait-and-see mode, because it really all comes down to when he will be unblocked by OFAC. If it's before the signing period ends, the Yankees are going to be all in and he'll be wearing pinstripes in no time, but if there's a long hold up and he isn't permitted to sign with an MLB team until after the June 15 cutoff date then the organization is out of luck.