Thursday, January 29, 2015

All quiet on the Moncata front... TOO quiet, if you ask me.

Odds are Cuban stud-wonder Yoan Moncata will soon be passport-stamped for MLB legitimacy, spawning the hottest insider bidding war since Charles and David Koch bought South Dakota. For Yankee fans, this will be the ultimate test of Hal Steinbrenner's true genetic lineage: Is he the son of George... or Bud Selig?

Moncata is a 19-year-old SS likely destined for Triple A. They say $30 million should do it... but jeez, I donno about that. This is no weekend at the Scranton Airport Ramada. Several wallets lie in the bushes - the Braves, Dodgers, Giants and Redsocks, most notably - and I gotta believe bidding will soar above the drone altitudes that Hal has avoided this winter. Thus far, whenever a premium free agent hit the market, Brian Cashman pointed to the rancidly cooked contracts of A-Rod, Tex and CC - and made a high-pitched shriek reminiscent of a pod person from Invasion of the Body Snatchers. (He can't point to McCann, Beltran and Ellsbury; they're too fresh in our minds.) The Yankee front office mantra is simple: Whenever something goes wrong, it's A-Rod's fault. And if we can't afford Moncata, you better believe they'll claim it's all due to A-Rod.

Let's be clear on this: If the Yankees fail to land Moncata, it's on Hal.

Yesterday, media prospect low-life Keith Law posted his annual rankings of MLB farm systems. Yes, these rankings are rancid. But they serve to remind Yankee fans to take off the blinders and compare our prospects to those on other teams. His analysis is not pretty: The Yankees rank 20th. Yep... the bottom tier. Yankee love-blogs gush over Luis Severino, Aaron Judge and Greg Bird - each likely to make Baseball America's top 100 prospects list - but ignore the fact that Boston may land five players on that list, with several arriving before our first is even named. To actually be considered a "young team on the rise," the Yankees have a long way to go.

That is, unless they sign Moncata, who would instantly become our top position prospect, if not our best prospect, period. He might land in BA's Top 20 - maybe the Top 10. If the Yankees snag him, we may actually see a light at the end of the tunnel that is not Randy Levine's fiery hairpiece, as he drives his Lexus erratically home from the whiskey bar.

Without Moncata - well - we are stuck where we've been for the last five years: Hoping for somebody to have a breakout season. We've gone through Mason Williams (several times), Dante Bichette, Cito Culver, Slade Heathcott, Gary Sanchez (a hundred times), Manny Banuelos... and now we have our new no-names. We just keep waiting.

Soon, it will come down to Hal Steinbrenner's greatest talent: Hauling out his checkbook. We sat out Max Scherzer, the Kung Fu Panda, and practically everybody else. If we sit this one out, it's going to be a long and tedious summer - not only in the Bronx, but maybe in Scranton and Trenton.


I'm Bill White said...

If Moncata reads the Miami papers today, there's no chance he pursues a first contract in Pinstripes. Ichiro's press conference included (polite) comments about the absence of enthusiasm in his baseball environment the past two years.

Not Anonymous said...

This is at least the third different spelling of his name you've used. Unless I'm missing the joke :)