This offseason has been attacked, mocked and ridiculed by many Milwaukee Brewers’ fans, but it has gotten the job done. The Brewer have filed their biggest needs on the corners, got a haul of young players for Yovani Gallardo. They even got wild cards for the bullpen in Chris Perez and Neal Cotts.
Earlier today, Jon Heyman of CBSSports reported that the biggest move by the team may still be on the way, as the Brewers are realistic players in the Yoan Moncada sweepstakes placing them as one of the five possible destinations. Adding a player of this caliber would drastically shift the state of the franchise.
While complaints came through this winter, many of the big name free agents on the market made no sense for the Brewers to add. Pablo Sandoval was overpaid and at some point in his contract he will most likely be regulated to a full-time designated hitter. With a talented pitching staff in Milwaukee, adding a pitcher like Jon Lester or Max Scherzer to a massive deal would have been both unnecessary and unwise. Signing Moncada, who is just 19-years-old is the type of move that would be much wiser. It could propel the team to success for the next decade.
Though he is still very young, Moncada’s talent better than anyone who will go number one overall in the upcoming June amateur draft. Realistically by adding him they would be getting a player with Bryce Harper type credentials to build around and vastly improve their underrated minor league system. Even with talent to play the middle infield, he could he has the body to shift to third in a system devoid of third base prospects. As Ben Balder of Baseball America reported, Moncada would quickly become one of the top-ten prospects in all of baseball.
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As an infielder who can switch hit with power Moncada has talent to be elite. Though their were not many five-tool free agents on the market, Moncada surely possess every tool. He can hit, run and play defense and has projected talent with a much higher ceiling than anyone who was on the market. In a recent report, MLB columnist Jim Callis drew comparisons with many of the best prospects in all of the minor leagues. It will time for him to earn a promotion, but when he does he will quickly show why he was so sought after.
But while the Brewers are mentioned as a possibility, a deal for Moncada is not without hurdles. Since they have already prospect Gilbert Lara last year, they have gone over their international bonus allotment. Moncada is also expected to sign with a team before the July second deadline, meaning that they would then fall into tier two penalties and subject to pay a 100 percent tax.
Finally there is the competition with the other teams. Often when teams like New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox are bidding, they do not lose. The Brewers will need to offer up a pretty penny for this deal to happen.
In his article, Heyman indicated that Moncada wants to be a franchise player with a team for his whole career. There would not be a better place to see him do that then in Milwaukee. Since Mark Attanasio has taken over as owner, the small market Brewers have been aggressive and willing to make statement type moves. The other moves he has seen have made short term gains, but a Moncada acquisition would be immediately become the best move made in the past decade. Some see the Brewers in a win now mode, but that is not the case. A move like this would keep them players in the National League Central not only now, but well into the future.