$63 million man; Red Sox break bank for Cuban teenager Yoan Moncada.

AuthorBallou, Bill

Byline: Bill Ballou

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Major League Baseball has more money than Worcester has snow, so the cost of the Red Sox' pending acquisition of Cuban teenager Yoan Moncada is unimportant.

It will be $63 million including a payment to Major League Baseball for exceeding its international bonus money allotment, but Boston spent more than $100 million 2006 dollars to lure Daisuke Matsuzaka from Japan and introduce 45-minute innings to Fenway Park. So, what's $63 million to the Red Sox? About what another six inches of snow is to Vernon Hill.

They can handle it.

The signing of Moncada was first reported on Monday by Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com. The Red Sox did not confirm, or deny, the report and everyone in the organization who talked about it had to do it in hypotheticals.

Moncada is an infielder who is considered to be one of the best young players anywhere, let alone Cuba. Given the Red Sox' recent history with young infielders, he could wind up playing almost anywhere. Given that he is just 19, Moncada should have plenty of time to find a position.

"I don't know that he's part of the organization yet,'' manager John Farrell said of Moncada, so he could not name names when being asked questions that were obviously about Moncada.

"It's clear that we're trying to find the best available talent, no matter where it comes from,'' the manager said. "Amateur, trades, free agency; some of the signings over the offseason clearly show the commitment by our ownership to bring in the best available talent.

"No stone is unturned. With the approach taken here, it's a great place to work for those reasons.''

Moncada is a switch-hitter who has played mostly second base. He stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 205 pounds, so will likely be bigger by the time he reaches the major leagues, assuming that he does.

Power, or at least its potential, is what has attracted the Red Sox to the untried teenager.

"The game has trended back towards a complete player, a guy that plays both sides of the game, has some awareness on base paths as well,'' Farrell said. "It's not uncommon for power to be the last phase of a hitter's game to come along. It might not happen until he's in the mid 20s and has three or four years at the major league level already.

"A proven power hitter has a hefty price tag.''

Moncada would be expected to begin his career in the minor leagues, probably at the...

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