Coming into today, there has been much hype surrounding 19-year-old Cuban phenom Yoan Moncada. Moncada is capable of playing almost all positions, but has been mostly seen as a 2nd or 3rd baseman. Coming over to America, Yoan Moncada has spent weeks showcasing his talents to teams around the league. Moncada had been so impressive over those workouts, that scouts have even dared to compare him to superstar Robinson Cano. With Moncada impressing, the price it would cost to land the potential superstar would be through the roof, likely to be record breaking. Signing Moncada would also force the team signing him to pay a 100% tax on the contract, given the fact that they would exceed their international spending limit. The New York Yankees became widely thought of as the frontrunners for Moncada, given their willingness to spend in the past and the glaring need for a top prospect in the farm system. But when the time came for Moncada to make the decision, it turns out the Yankees didn’t do what it took to sign him. As a result, Moncada will become a member of the arch-rival Boston Red Sox, signing a $31.5 million contract (costing the team $63 million), leaving Yankees fans in disgust.
How did the Yankees lose out on Moncada? According to Andrew Marchand, Moncada was wanting to wear Yankees pinstripes, so who could possibly be the person to screw this up? Many Yankees fans jumped to the conclusion that general manager Brian Cashman was to blame, but according to Wallace Matthews, it was not his fault. In my opinion, this was due to the unwillingness to spend by owner Hal Steinbrenner, only willing to go up to $27 million ($54 million after tax). George Steinbrenner, Hal’s father, was always willing to spend money in order to win, winning six World Series and ten AL Championships before giving control to his sons in 2007. So coming from a family willing to spend, it is surprising how unwilling Hal has been. With George running the show, there are little doubts that he would have spent the extra $10 million to make Moncada a Yankee.
I am not just blaming Hal because of a bad feeling in my stomach. This offseason Hal has shown an unwillingness to spend his money. When attempting to resign Brandon McCarthy, who pitched to a solid 2.89 ERA and 7-5 record in 14 starts for the Yankees in 2014, McCarthy was denied a new contract, despite his hope to return. This was because of an unwillingness to give him a fourth year on his contract. So this isn’t just playing eni meni mini mo and blaming whoever I land on, it is from a reasonable assumption.
There is nothing us Yankees fans can do about it now, except hope that Moncada ends up being a bust and that Hal finds some of his dad in himself and gains a willingness to open his wallet.