Paint The Black

Baseball and Beyond

Cuban Farmland For Sale

with 13 comments

In the Winter of 2013 Hal decided to  finally wake up from his apathetic stupor  and cut payroll  by filling holes on his 25 man  roster with prospects from his system, after all  isn’t that  what  you do  when your payroll far exceeds 28 other teams in baseball, but you’ve only won  2 Rings since 2000, and your tired of paying what is now a 50% Luxury Tax penalty?

Makes perfect sense, except the Yanks didn’t have  any young players with  significant impact, Eduardo Nunez, who  was the deal  breaker in the first Cliff Lee misfire when it looked like Lee might come to  the Bronx from Seattle, was the newest farm  hand given  a shot to stick, especially with Jeter out of the way due to injury.

Zoilo Almonte, Austin Romine, Melky Mesa, David Adams, Corban Joseph, and JR Murphy  were also newbies. Gardner and Cervelli were Bomber homies taking up  space on the 25 man roster, but  neither player was really a core type building block, although the Yanks want you to  believe that Gardner is cemented at the base of the next core building blueprint.

They  also  had discarded youngsters from other teams like Alberto Gonzalez, Thomas Neal, Luis Cruz, and Brennan Boesch. For the moment we’re only dealing with position players, which  seems to be the Yankees Achilles Heel RE:Farm Aid.

Yes we’ve seen them march a plethora of young arms to  the varsity, with  Betances  and Greene the two  shining stars, neither was on the radar in 2013 and now Greene is in Detroit thanks to Cashman’s effort finding  the next Derek Jeter, which Didi Gregorius has the distinction of being candidate # 1.

We can  throw in David Robertson, another home grown All Star like Robbie Cano  who became too  expensive to keep, thanks to  so many  secondary / unmovable mercenary contracts still on the books

So enter  International Free Agency, and to  their credit the Yanks have jumped into  the deep  end of the pool without trepidation. Whether they’ve made the right choices is another story, but they haven’t been shy about spending money on Latin youngsters, they  grabbed 9 of the top  25 Latino up  and comers

We still haven’t seen Cashman  take the plunge on any of the Cuban stars that  have emerged as bona fide MLB players starting with Chapman  and Cespedes right through to Abreu  and Puig.

There are hot rumors that  19 yr old man child Yoan Moncada is at the top of the Cashman’s must get list, 21 yr old Yoan Lopez was also  supposed to be  in hot pursuit by the Yanks but yesterday Dave Stewart and Tony La Russa handed the young Cuban $8.25M to  sign  with  the D-Backs, nice move Cash way  to “keep just missing” on these Cuban Boogie men.. I really don’t get Cashman’s fear of signing  Cuban National team players?

Can  you imagine the damage Abreu, Puig, Cespedes, Soler, and Tomas could do in Yankee Stadium..?

With  a farm  system that  resembles the Dust Bowl, can  you visualize how enhanced the organization would be with  these guys infiltrated throughout?

The trade chips alone would be worth the risk  for a team  with as much  money as the Bombers. Imagine if Jorge Soler who is ready to  explode for the Cubs was in the Bomber system, teams would be offering their top prospects either pitching or position player need to  the Bombers in exchange for Soler’s upside.

Or better yet, we’d see him in Pinstripes this season and not Gardner or Beltran on the corners.

Lopez is now gone, but Moncada is next in line, so first  the good news

Moncada is a 19-year-old five-tool prospect who plays shortstop. Baseball America’s Ben Badler suggested back in August that he might be the first pick in the 2015 amateur draft if he were eligible. Lopez is 21 and comes fully loaded with a fastball that sits in the mid-90’s and can reach triple digits. Unlike the other Yoan, he’s been cleared to sign with a pro team by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (which contrary to popular belief does not exist solely for the purpose of ushering Cuban baseball players into the majors). Add to all that good stuff the fact that the Yankees have already neutron bombed their international spending pool allotment for this year – they won’t be allowed to sign pool-eligible players like these for two years beginning in May – and doing everything humanly possible to land the two Yoans seems like an absolute no-brainer.

Now the Bad News

One way in which Moncada and Lopez differ from draft picks, of course is in their price tag. There’s no limit to how much the Yankees, or the Red Sox, who’ve also exceeded their international pool money this year, can offer them. Moncada will almost certainly obliterate the nine-year, $30 million deal that Jorge Soler, a similarly talented Cuban prospect, landed from the Cubs in 2012. If the six-year, $27 million pact that 24-year-old righty Raisel Iglesias got from the Reds this past June is any indication, Lopez will be well-compensated, too. Reports are that the Yankees do have interest in both Moncada and Lopez, but just how far will they be willing to go? The same kinds of reports told us they liked Soler, Rusney Castillo, and Yasmany Tomas, too, but all of those guys are currently playing elsewhere. They were reluctant to go the $40-something million extra mile to retain proven commodities like David Robertson and Brandon McCarthy. What makes us think they’ll do it for a couple of guys who have never set foot on a major league – or even a minor league field?

Penny wise and a pound foolish is Cashman, they  franchise OK players like Gardner, pay slugger money to Ellsbury a leadoff Punch and Judy hitter, continue to waste bucks on guys like Youkilis, Roberts, and the plethora of scrape heap low risk no  reward types like Ryan, this newest acquisition that  doesn’t move the needle, Chris Martin, Chris Capuano, and  the sea of has beens in 2013 like Overbay, Wells, Ichiro, Hafner, Stewart, Nelson. Lillibridge and Francisco.

In  2014 we saw money wasted on Johnson, Drew, Chris Young, Sizemore, Richardson and Dean Anna.

Where  is Cashman’s scouting posse? Why are these other teams taking the plunge and not the deep pocketed NY Yankees? With Moncada in the system, doesn’t  that  establish your next Robinson Cano, and  doesn’t it free up players like Refsynder or Pirela or both  to be traded  in a package for a top of the rotation starter ? Instead Cashman  continues to field  retreads like Capuano, 4A back of the rotation  types like Chase Whitley or the now 40th man on the roster Chris Martin.

More Bad News: there is a 100% penalty that  comes along with Moncada

In order for the Yankees to have a shot at signing Moncada, he needs to be unblocked by the OFAC before the end of the current international signing period on June 15th. (Really well before that so they have to time to negotiate.) As a result of their massive international spending spree last summer, the Yankees won’t be able to sign a player for more than $300,000 during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 signing periods, and that simply won’t be enough to get Moncada. He’s expected to receive a $30M to $40M bonus, which will be taxed at 100% no matter which teams signs him.

Ah Good News Again : The key tag word here is “no matter who  signs him”

The 100% tax penalty  will  eliminate a lot of pretenders, maybe even scare off Boston  who  already  has Bogaerts and Marrero,  highly touted untouchable prospects @ SS, one of Moncada’s potential positions

Mookie Betts, a natural  2nd baseman ( Moncada’s real position)  who is also on their untouchable list but is being blocked by Pedroia at 2nd base, will have to  find a spot in the out field, at least until Pedroia breaks down, so  any rumors that Boston is in on Moncada heavy,  must be a fabrication by their front office in an effort to  drive up  the Moncada stakes for rivals like the Bombers.

I don’t see them  spending $60 to $80M on a prospect, especially for  positions they  already have covered on the cheap, and because they already  took the  $72M  Cuban plunge on Rusney Castillo in an effort to  replace Ellsbury

Back  to  the bad news :  The newest member of  the “we want Moncada” group are the deep pocketed LA Dodgers.

Even with Uber Metric Geek Andrew Friedman running their show, the Dodgers have to be inserted as  public enemy #1 in the Moncada sweepstakes.

Combine the Dodgers deep pockets and their new found ballsy demeanor  with Cashman’s inability to  shake his fear of taking the head first  dive on Cuban players, and despite the rumors stating the Yanks are heavy favorites, I’d be skeptical landing the 19 yr old Cuban super star now…

“Let’s be honest” you punch  a bully in the mouth he backs down, and there is no  bigger bully in baseball  then the NY Yankees and their  seemingly bottomless coffers

We can only hope Cashman has scouted this kid the way he scouted Tanaka, who  was a must  have thanks to  the Bombers depleted farm system

And with Stephen Drew a no hit platoon split player now bumping the “highly touted Rob Refsynder” back to  Triple A, I’d say  Moncada ranks right up  there with Tanaka on the Yanks must have list, if Refsynder can’t beat out Drew, what  type of prospect can he possibly be?

Go get him Caahman, don’t make the same mistake you made on Chapman, Abreu, Puig, Cespedes, Lopez, Tomas and Soler…

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Written by Sal

January 14, 2015 at 9:29 am

Posted in Uncategorized

13 Responses

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  1. This Moncada kid will cost a lot of money, but I don’t see any reason to not get him based on the intel… and based on how they have zero chance of restocking what they lost when they let Cano walk

    Refsynder is obviously not ready, Cashman didn’t want him here last yr, and he’s obviously not that enamored with him this yr either

    Moncada isn’t ready yet either but @ 19 yr’s old he should storm through the system and be ready to go in a yr or 2.. Refsynder can move back to a corner and be ready when Beltran expires

    Man we screamed for Jorge Soler the yr he and Cespedes were available and Epstein flat out stole him from Cashman, now the Cubs are gonna be rewarded, but at least we have Gardner lol

    Sal

    January 14, 2015 at 10:05 am

  2. Sal, I must say, that was probably the most well written, cogent argument you’ve stated in defense of going after & getting a player, in my time here at Paint The Black! Outstanding job! That said, based on the current situation of their minor league system & major league club, this screams for Cashman to pull the trigger! Jeez! It’s only money! This doesn’t go against their ML club money, no? I understand he won’t come cheap. But if the consensus intel has this kid as a can’t miss star, ya gotta pull the trigger! Especially because of the aforementioned state of their Major & Minor League clubs. We are the fucking NY Yankees! We print money from the Mall On Rivera Avenue every day! Pull the freakin trigger before LA swoops in……again! And one other thing. I guess I missed it. But yesterday Donny mentioned Chris Martin. Who the fuck is Chris Martin? When & why did we get him? For whom? From whom? What is he, a starter or reliever? Man, ya miss a day, and all hell brakes loose.

    mosconebailbonds

    January 14, 2015 at 12:22 pm

  3. Sal–I echo what Moscone said—your research and analysis are top shelf. The effort is very much appreciated. I am trying to always temper my own thoughts with not coming across as being too often negative and complaining. We all are lifetime rabid Yankee Fans and all want the same–many more championships and the figurative obliteration of our number one enemy on the Charles River. I guess I see Hal, Cashman and Company as being all over the map by constantly changing their strategy for success as often as Christopher Moltisanti would make a commitment to no longer get high. Hold the line on spending—spend a half a billion—express little interest in upcoming Latin prospects—sign them all—-and then—-get some valued veterans to take you over the hump—get rid of them all and commence a youth movement.
    What will always bother me about Cano, which also holds true for Robertson and Russell Martin is that the front office exerted very little effort in trying to re-sign them. Negotiations were non-existent. They also did the same with Andy Pettitte when he went to Houston. I could be totally mistaken, but I still believe that Cano would have settled for less to stay in New York. Robertson and Martin never received offers.
    To your extensive list of guys who were paid a fortune and then immediately shit the bed–I add Nick Johnson and Javy Vasquez (second time). Javy was so non impressive that he was left off the 2010 post season roster. His pay that year was 10 million or more. Johnson would never stay healthy long enough to get to the post season. One of the toppers will always be Cashman’s signing of Kei Igawa, as a response to Boston signing Dice-K. Thereafter, Cashman admitted that Igawa was signed despite the fact that they did not scout him and actually knew very little about what kind of pitcher he was.
    Alerting Arod that if he opted out–that would be it and he would be gone—and then re-signing him for even more, including ridiculous and over the top bonus clauses may likely go down in Yankee history as their worst move.

    noogerguy

    January 14, 2015 at 1:05 pm

  4. Caught some Mikey 21 in the car today. As usual, ripping Rex Ryan, the job he did with the Jets, and the message he gave to the Buffalo Bills.
    Does Mikey ever get called to task for his almost always silence of things related to the 5 and fucking 35 New York Knicks? They last won a championship when Nixon was President.

    noogerguy

    January 14, 2015 at 2:43 pm

  5. Noogsy, you hit it right on the head on all points. I especially agree with you on Cano, Robertson, & Russell Martin. Martin made it clear he wanted to stay. They had a chance to sign a good catcher (a much more athletic player than McCan’t) for a helluva lot less money & yrs. One who was already familiar with the staff & system. The pitchers loved throwing to him & he was a force in the lineup who hit to all fields…….not a one dimensional hitter. A HUGE mistake on their part. In Robertson, they had a chance to secure the 3-headed monster that worked so well for KC. And might’ve worked even better here. It would’ve shortened the game to 6 innings, with a lead with that bullpen, the game would ostensibly be over. And with our starters (who KNOWS who they might be by the end of Spring Training) most of them don’t go past the 6th inning! To me, this was a no-BRAINER! I’d like to think Cano would’ve stayed here for less money & years, but we’re never going to find out. Another bad decision by management. Just on these 3 players alone, the Yankees are paying the price for shortsightedness and contributing to mess we find ourselves in today.

    mosconebailbonds

    January 14, 2015 at 2:58 pm

  6. Noogsy, you hit it right on the head on all points. I especially agree with you on Cano, Robertson, & Russell Martin. Martin made it clear he wanted to stay. They had a chance to sign a good catcher (a much more athletic player than McCan’t) for a helluva lot less money & yrs. One who was already familiar with the staff & system. The pitchers loved throwing to him & he was a force in the lineup who hit to all fields…….not a one dimensional hitter. A HUGE mistake on their part. In Robertson, they had a chance to secure the 3-headed monster that worked so well for KC. And might’ve worked even better here. It would’ve shortened the game to 6 innings, with a lead with that bullpen, the game would ostensibly be over. And with our starters (who KNOWS who they might be by the end of Spring Training) most of them don’t go past the 6th inning! To me, this was a no-BRAINER! I’d like to think Cano would’ve stayed here for less money & years, but we’re never going to find out. Another bad decision by management. Just on these 3 players alone, the Yankees are paying the price for shortsightedness and contributing to the mess we find ourselves in today.

    mosconebailbonds

    January 14, 2015 at 3:01 pm

  7. Who are those guys?: http://youtu.be/FcLvE1_KEjs

    bubbaband

    January 14, 2015 at 3:13 pm

  8. hey boys thanks for the thumbs up, and as always salient takes all around !Thanks

    Fellas never feel the need to hold back or vent in frustration, that’s why we’re here, for us to let off some steam…The editor has a very thick skin, so never any hard feelings no matter what the takes are, there are so many ways to break this stuff down, they all hold weight

    Mikey is at it again, wow.. and yes quiet on the Knick front, nice Tank job, I hope they get some decent picks

    Just saw Nova’s arb money stayed the same, I don’t think I’ve ever heard that before, maybe him missing the whole yr is the reason, didn’t read it just saw a RSS blurb…

    Sal

    January 14, 2015 at 4:06 pm

  9. Hey Donny! Great pick in posting that scene from Butch & Sundance! So right on!

    mosconebailbonds

    January 14, 2015 at 4:18 pm

  10. Just had to mention this boys. Put this under the heading of Sign Of The Times. Minutes ago, I read that A.J. Ellis, catcher for the Dodgers, just signed a 1yr contract with them for 4.25mm. This amounted to a $700K raise. Now, this is after hitting a career low .191 while playing in 93 games. He got a freakin raise with this non-performance! Back in the day, when Mickey Mantle won the Triple Crown in ’56, he hit 56HRs, 130RBI, and batted .353. The next year, he hit 34HR, 102RBI, and batted .365. Losing the Batting Title to a 39yr old Ted Williams who miraculously hit a robust .388. That winter, when Mantle received his contract, it was for a $10,000 PAY CUT!! And this guy gets a $700,000 INCREASE for that performance??? Man, something is wrong in this world!

    mosconebailbonds

    January 14, 2015 at 4:40 pm

  11. “We had numerous goals,” Steinbrenner told four reporters, two from New York. “Two of the goals were to get younger and get better defensively. I think we’ve done that. I think our bullpen’s better. I think it’s one of the best in baseball, quite frankly. My opinion.

    “So there have been some improvements. We started out with a payroll that was already high before we did anything. We knew we had a certain amount of dollars to work with, and I think Cash did a great job.”
    Our beloved leader,Hal,spoke at an owners meeting,check it out on the online NYPost. He said we had a great bullpen,I guess forgetting that he forgot to re sign our closer. I don’t think anyone really believes this bullpen is better-my opinion.He also said nice things about Willie Randolph but did not hire him.I find it hard to believe anything he says after he said they were building a championship team this year,then not signing either Lester or Scherzer. He is just interested in lowering payroll-which should be done-while not
    considering that most of the money paid out is not getting a commensurate return.The Yanks offered Cano a 7 year $175 million contract,which was not as much as the deal he got from the Mariners and the Yanks would not match it.

    dallasbomber7

    January 14, 2015 at 8:58 pm

  12. Dallas –I am well aware of the offer the Yankees made to Cano. It was one that they knew he would immediately reject. My point was that they were never really serious about wanting to sign him. The fact that they then offered Ellsbury a 7 year deal for nearly what they had offered Cano speaks volumns.
    Cano will be a Hall of Famer. Ellsbury will be off the ballot almost as soon as he is put on it when he doesn’t get enough votes to continue on the ballot.
    I still think Cano would have taken an 8 year deal for about 200 Million, regardless of what Cashman spewed that “Robbie likes his money.” Cashman also trashed Jeter and Posada. Some day you will see Posada open his mouth about it.

    noogerguy

    January 14, 2015 at 10:08 pm

  13. Noogsy, I couldn’t agree with you more. The Yanks ( Cashman ) had no interest in signing Cano. That “offer” was strictly for show. I too, was hoping that he would take in the neighborhood of 8yrs for 200mm. I especially agree with you regarding his (their) treatment of Jeter (when negotiating that last contract) and the way they handled Posada his last 2 seasons. Absolutely deplorable!! I expect one day Jorge will speak about it, Jeter, I’m not sure. And let’s not forget how they treated Bernie at the end. Just horrible!

    mosconebailbonds

    January 14, 2015 at 10:41 pm


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