The Cuban Muscle Situation

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Photo source unknown – uncredited.

The Price of a Super Cuban

There seems to be an ever increasing flood of Cuban players lately with varying degrees of talent. As the recent lessening of tensions take hold I expect that some kind of formal agreement allowing the players to leave for a percentage of their signing bonus or something equally unpalatable. They could also be added to the new international draft that is almost certain to be a part of the next CBA. For now however we get them in fits and jumps; some show spectacular power like Jose Abreu, some are just very good, some called “franchise changing players” without having played a day in our system and some too old to be prospects but still useful players. Before I look at what’s practical, a word about the one everyone seems to think we can sign.

Yoan Moncada

As I keep saying the reality is that Moncada is – at least in theory – a Lamborghini. It’s fun to look at him but we’re not equipped to pay for him. If you don’t think so I recommend you read all of  Bed Badler’s Thursday piece Why Rich Teams Have The Edge For Yoan Moncada. He conclude it like this:

". . . you can comfortably count out teams such as the Indians, Twins, Royals, Pirates, Athletics and Mets when it comes to handicapping the Moncada sweepstakes. Plenty of teams will be interested in signing Moncada. Most likely, it’s the richest ones that will be fighting it out for him."

No he didn’t put the Braves in his list of teams counted out but the way he explained the implications and consequences of signing Moncada in his post the more obvious it becomes that we aren’t serious bidders in his auction. That isn’t anything to cry about, superstars are nice to have but adding all star players guarantees only a high payroll, not success. For verification contact Hal Steinbrenner and Arte Moreno.

The argument that the Braves are being cheap by not committing up to $60m current dollars and increasing arbitration salary on one player who won’t be major league ready for a year or more and stripping their ability to put a team around him doesn’t hold water. The other thing to be considered is who they are bidding against.

It’s a waste of time and resources to visit showcases and negotiate with agents for Moncada when the Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, Red Sox and Nationals among others have much deeper pockets that the Braves.