By Jarrett Seidler and J.P. Breen
The Situation: Waking up on September 1st, the Red Sox sit two games out of the AL East lead and are atop a perilous seven-teams-within-six-games scramble for the two AL Wild Card spots. There’s one lineup spot that could be obviously upgraded, third base, where Travis Shaw has struggled mightily of late, and Aaron Hill hasn’t hit a lick since being acquired from Milwaukee.Yoan Moncada is one of the two best prospects in baseball. Hey, he can play third, right?
Background: Moncada, probably the most touted Cuban baseball prospect of his generation, left the island shortly after turning 19 in June 2014 to seek a contract in American baseball. He’d already played two seasons for Cienfuegos in Serie Nacional, Cuba’s top baseball league, and starred in various international competitions. After alengthy delay due to political issues involving Major League Baseball and the United States Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Asset Control, Moncada ultimately signed a minor-league deal with the Boston Red Sox for $31.5 million, shattering all previous records for an international prospect signed to a minor-league deal. In addition to his bonus, the Red Sox had to pay an additional $31.5 million penalty to MLB, as Moncada was part of an extreme overage in their 2014-15 international signing bonus pool.
Photo by Gary A. Vazquez, USA Toady Sports Images