Because of his age, he will be subject to MLB's international free agent rules. Each year, teams are given a limited amount of money to spend on international free agents. 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 defected from Cuba in August and established residency in Guatemala. He was declared a free agent by MLB last week.
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."
The Padres have been extremely active this winter. San Diego reportedly signed free-agent pitcher James Shields early Monday morning. Earlier in the offseason the Padres acquired Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Wil Myers, Derek Norris and Will Middlebrooks.
- Dan Gartland