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Mets rumors: Shortstop Yoan Moncada won't fit in Mets' budget

The price for the Cuban shortstop will be high, perhaps too high for the Mets.

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According to Anthony DiComo, Mets beat writer for MLB.com, the Mets have done their due diligence on Cuban shortstop Yoan Moncada but do not view him as a realistic option due to budgetary constraints. If the Mets are interested in signing Moncada, funds must be drawn from their 2014-2015 international bonus pool, the MLB-assigned funds used to sign international rookies.

The Mets, for their part, have already spent roughly $2 million of their $2.7 million 2014-2015 international bonus pool, signing shortstops Kenny Hernandez ($1,000,000), Yoel Romero ($300,000), and Edgardo Fermin ($250,000), left-handed pitcher Tulio Garcia ($175,000), outfielder Daniel Guzman ($140,000(, and right-handed pitcher Jhoander Chourio ($130,000), in addition to numerous lower profile signings with no published dollar amounts made public.

According to numerous industry sources, the Cuban shortstop will command a large signing bonus, perhaps as high as $30 or $40 million. The penalty for exceeding the bonus pool allotment by 15% or more is a 100% tax on the overage and a prohibition on signing players for more than $250,000 in the next two signing periods. A 100% tax on roughly $30 or $40 million is a level of financial commitment that is simply a hurdle that many teams—including the Mets—simply cannot scale.

The Cuban shortstop was granted his free agent status by Major League Baseball back in mid-November, but he has yet to receive his unblocking license from the Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets. Because of the ongoing U.S. trade embargo with the communist island to its south, MLB teams cannot sign Moncada until he receives the clearance.

According to Baseball America's Ben Badler, if Moncada were eligible in the MLB Amateur Draft, he would undoubtedly be a top selection, perhaps even the number one selection overall. The switch-hitting youngster hit a combined .276/.391/.375 in the 52nd and 53rd Serie Nacional de Beisbol and profiles only to improve. Along with excellent awareness at the plate, Moncada has a level, line-drive swing that has already exhibited growing power. In addition, he possesses blazing speed and a strong arm, strong enough to play any infield position, including shortstop. Were the Mets to add Moncada, the Cienfuegos native would likely become their top minor league prospect and would likely be one of the top prospects in all of Major League Baseball.