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Will Yoan Moncada become Diamondbacks' third Cuban?

Cuban teenage infielder Yoan Moncada will work out for the Diamondbacks this week. Is there a chance we might have a triple-decker Cuban sandwich by the month's end?

Jesse Sanchez, who first broke news of the Tomas signing, said, "A high-ranking D-backs official confirmed the club will have representatives in Florida this week to see Moncada." The Cubs and Dodgers are reported also to be present, and Moncada has already worked out for at least eight other teams, including the Padres and Yankees. Sanchez reports that the 19-year-old will have completed all his showcases by February 23, with a decision made on where he will sign likely following before the end of February.

Moncada's talents had him called by Baseball America, "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." He has been on the international radar for some time, dominating proceeding both at home and internationally in the under-16 and under-18 divisions, before making his debut in Cuba's premier league for Cienfuegos, hitting .283 as a 17-year-old, alongside Jose Abreu. He then followed that up in his sophomore season with a line of 273/.365/.406, mostly as a second-baseman.

A prospect with talent like this doesn't come along on the open market often. In the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo wrote, "You can’t find one GM, either involved or not involved in obtaining him, who doesn’t rave about Yoan Moncada, and who wouldn’t take him No. 1 in the draft if he were an American amateur player," and there appears to be a general consensus that, whoever he signs with, will immediate have one of the top ten prospects in baseball, with potential along the lines of Chase Utley or Robinson Cano. Cafardo adds, "Many believe it will take in the range of a $40 million-$50 million bonus to get Moncada. And teams appear willing to get into a bidding war."

This is a potential deal-breaker for Arizona, because our actual cost would be twice that. Due to the bonus paid to Lopez, Arizona have already exceeded their international signing allocation, laid down by MLB, and are in the maximum penalty phase. This means we are already barred from getting any players for more than $300,000 in the next two signing periods, so in some ways, Arizona might as well make the most of this one. However, it means anything paid to Moncada is subject to an additional 100% "luxury tax", so we are likely looking at additional tens of millions. It should also be noted, that fine can't be distributed or deferred, it must be paid to MLB in a lump sum.

I suspect this massive penalty probably means he will sign somewhere else. Still, it was a surprise in November when the Diamondbacks swooped in on Yasmany Tomas, signing him to the biggest free-agent deal in the history of the the franchise, worth $68.5 million. And it was perhaps even more of a shock when they followed this up last month, by inking right-handed pitcher Yoan Lopez to an $8.27 million deal. It would be truly startling if they could complete the triple crown and snag Moncada as well.