Monday, February 23, 2015


As far as "Hot Takes" go this one will be the hottest.
Cuba has long been America's estranged cousin. We kind of know where they are, but our only contact is some funny Facebook post that they put up every once and a while, but they never respond to any of our messages. We worry about them. We want them back in the family, but we know its going to change everything.

News flew across the internet and the baseball world that the next "Cuban Big Thing" Yoan Moncada has signed with the Boston Red Sox. Early reports have the deal in the $30+ mil range with of course a 100% tax on the end for exceeding the allotment for foreign born players, blah, blah, blah. Bottom line is the Red Sox signed a 19 year old with a tremendous upside and a position TBD for around $60-$70mil. Not too shabby I guess, but then again not my money. So, spend away!!!

The sad part is that it likely marks the high water mark for the fun that has been watching the market for Cuban baseball players. The quantity of high level talent left on the island that is on the cusp of being MLB ready has to be winding down. Other players will come of course, but it won't be the same. With the impending changes in the US-Cuban relationships the whole way that MLB scouts and signs these players is going to change.

There will no longer be these mystery players with grainy game footage, private workouts, and YouTube cookouts. Gone will be the days of discounting Cuban talent because they face pitchers or hitters in their league that wouldn't make it onto a D3 school. However, there will also be no more Jose Fernandez stories of riding a rickety boat to a better life. Also gone will be the stories of players owing smugglers money after they arrive. The Cuban national team will not have worry going to international competitions and coming back with only part of their team. So it won't all be bad.

But be sure, now is the time to enjoy the Yoan Moncada/Cuban Player hysteria while it lasts. Draft him early in all of your fantasy leagues. Be willing to not be outbid in your auctions. Never mind that he has no path to a position right now in the Red Sox organization. Forget the fact that he is likely to open at AA and probably won't get to the Majors this year in any meaningful way. This is not the time time for a level headed approach. Now is the time to react. Give in to the madness, let it bask over you as if its the first time in months that you have seen the sun, because its about to go away forever.

Also, let me know how it goes. There will be haters for this approach. There always is. But you'll be right. Its not about winning this time. Its about enjoying one last ride on the Cuban Mystery Machine...

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