Red Sox commit $63 million to land Cuban star Yoan Moncada
The Boston Red Sox did not blink in their effort to land a potential superstar on the international market, reaching an agreement with Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada on a contract that will include a $31.5 million bonus, according to a person with direct knowledge of the agreement.
The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because the contract has not yet been finalized.
With just $1.8 million in international bonus money available to them in this signing period, the Red Sox will be subject to a 100% overage tax on Moncada's deal - putting their total investment in him at $63 million. The overage tax is payable to the commissioner's office by July 15.
Apparently, that price will be well worth it to land a player of Moncada's caliber, in an era when draft slots make it harder to exploit loopholes to attract talent.
Amid that backdrop, the Red Sox did not flinch in flexing their financial might to land Moncada.
He debuted two years ago in Cuba's Serie Nacional, at 17, and held his own against much older players, posting a .414 on-base percentage in 172 plate appearances.
Moncada, 19, can play either second or third base and is a switch-hitter with significant - and still-developing power. His agreement continues the Red Sox's recent aggression in the international area, as they signed outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million deal last year.
Castillo will challenge for a major league job this season. Moncada will likely need some time in the minor leagues, though it's not expected to be an extended apprenticeship.
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