Wednesday January 21st, 2015

Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada held a private workout with the New York Yankees, who are "the frontrunners" to sign him, Baseball America's Ben Badler reports

Moncada, a 19-year-old switch-hitting third baseman and shortstop, defected from Cuba and established residency in Guatemala. He will not be allowed to sign with a major-league team until he is cleared by the U.S. government's Office of Foreign Asset Control.

Because of his age, he will be subject to MLB's international free agent rules. Depending on when he is cleared by OFAC, Moncada could either be eligible to sign during the current international signing period, which runs until June 15, 2015, or during the following one, which begins on July 2, 2015.

Astros sign CF Colby Rasmus to one-year deal​

When Moncada signs greatly impacts where he will sign, since teams are subjected to strict international spending limits in each signing period. Teams that exceed their allotted international signing funds will be taxed by MLB and prohibited from signing high-price international free agents for the next two signing periods. 

Moncada is from the town of Cienfuegos, also the hometown of Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig. He made his professional debut with Cienfuegos at the age of 17, playing with White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu and Dodgers shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena. 

Baseball America described Moncada as "the best teenager to leave Cuba since Jorge Soler, a player with exciting tools and dominance of the Cuban junior leagues on par with what Yasiel Puig did at the same age."

- Dan Gartland

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