Report: MLB Holding Up The Yoan Moncada Proceedings, Not US OFAC (UPDATED)

Here’s an interesting new wrinkle in the Yoan Moncada sweepstakes.  According to this report by Ben Badler, the holdup in getting him unblocked and eligible to sign does not reside with the US Dept. of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control as many believed, but rather with MLB itself.

“Any Cuban national who presents documents showing permanent residence in a country outside of Cuba qualifies for OFAC’s ‘general license,’ which is not a written document. As far as OFAC is concerned, that should make him unblocked, and that’s good enough for the government to allow him to sign.

The holdup is that MLB won’t let Moncada—or any Cuban player, for that matter—use the general license any more. That wasn’t always the case. Yasiel Puig, for example, signed using the general license. It’s not clear what exactly changed, but at some point in 2012 after Puig signed in June that year, MLB no longer allowed Cuban players to sign using the general license and instead required them to apply for the specific license, which is a written document from OFAC…

“MLB issued the following statement to Baseball America on Sunday: ‘MLB is confident with the current plan we have in place regarding signing foreign born players and will abide by the guidelines of the OFAC requirements.’

Except, by the OFAC guidelines, Moncada has met the criteria of the general license to be considered unblocked, and he is not alone.

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Covering A Short Rotation With A Deep Bullpen, Or Why I Still Want A 1-Inning Closer

Soriano Untuck

An untuck reunion would be pretty sweet, no? Courtesy of Getty Images

We’re less than 4 weeks from pitchers and catchers reporting to Tampa for the start of Spring Training 2015.  When they do, the question marks and problems in the rotation will become all too real.  Every picture of Masahiro Tanaka or CC Sabathia throwing long toss is going to be a reminder that each of them may be 1 pitch away from major elbow and knee injuries at all times, and a reminder of how little depth the Yankees have behind them to fill in if/when injuries strike.

The Yanks continue to stand pat on diving into the free agent bargain bin to add an arm.  As much as some of us might want them to do that, the smarter way to upgrade the pitching staff might be to go back to the free agent reliever pool and lock up somebody to work as a traditional 1-inning closer.  The bullpen is already shaping up to be one of the deepest and best in baseball.  …

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Tuesday Morning Food For Thought: A World Without Brendan Ryan

With the Braves claiming Eury Perez off waivers last Friday, the loop was finally closed on the Stephen Drew roster addition. Perez was the most logical choice to be sacrificed, as the Yankees have plenty of 40-man outfield depth in the form of their own young players. Now that he’s gone though, the clock may and should be ticking on Brendan Ryan.

What does he bring to the table at this point? He can’t hit. At all. Statistical metrics have his defense on a major decline from where it was 2-3 years ago.  The money owed to him is a little more than half of the already minuscule number the Yanks are paying to Drew this year.  Drew’s presence on the roster gives the Yankees another solid shortstop option to back up Didi, and the presence of guys like Jose Pirela and Rob Refsnyder who can play second base makes Ryan expendable there as well.  Ryan serves no purpose on this roster anymore.  …

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Monday Night Open Thread: A-Rod Gossip And Snow

Sorry for the slow day on the site today, gang.  For some reason I could never get my brain to start getting into blog mode, and every time I got close something came up at work.  Blogging equivalent of an 0-5 day at the plate with 2 inning-ending GIDPs and 6 runners left on base.

Not that anybody was short on reading material today.  A lot of local papers were running with more anti-A-Rod stories instead of actually reporting on something that matters.  I’m not going to give any site the pageviews they so desperately want.  If you want to go find the stories on your own, more power to you.  The long and short of it is that A-Rod met with Rob Manfred to try to put last year in the rearview and focus on moving forward.  He reached out to do the same thing with the Yankees and got turned down, and now the team is supposedly gearing up to try to fight having to pay him the HR bonus money that they included as part of his contract that he signed.  …

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Quick Hit: Kiley McDaniel’s Yankee Farm System Evaluation

If you’ve been waiting with hands clenched in anticipation for this since last week like I have, then this morning was a beautiful morning for you.  Kiley McDaniel released his farm system evaluation for the Yankees over at FanGraphs, and it’s an absolute doozy of a post.  I’m talking detailed scouting reports on tons of players, videos, breakdowns of players to watch at all levels, and mentions of a few names that I’ve never even heard of.  If you’re a big prospect person and still in the prospect-y mood from our events here last week, definitely set this aside for your lunch time reading today.

If you want the highlights, McDaniel is higher on both Jacob Lindgren and Jorge Mateo than anybody else I’ve read, down on Gary Sanchez and Domingo German, and thinks Tyler Wade and Juan De Leon will start to make their way up the ladder this year.  Even if you don’t have time today to fully dive into this, I would recommend carving out some at some point to read the whole thing.…

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Blood from a Stone, or Just What Can We Expect from Mr. Rodriguez?

The last time we saw Alex Rodriguez playing Major League Baseball, he was performing quite well, batting .244/.348/.423 with 7 HR and a 113 wRC+ across 181 PA. That is, of course, well below the lofty standards set by his career as a whole, and a rather unattractive slash line in the context of the era – but I would also suggest that it was fairly encouraging. At 38-years-old, with two surgically repaired hips and a surgically repaired right knee, Rodriguez managed to be an above-average hitter over what amounts to a quarter of a season. If you cocked your head and squinted a bit, things were looking up for Rodriguez, as he prepared for the upcoming season. But that was 2013, and ‘the upcoming season’ ended up being ‘TBA.’ And … well, you know the rest.

As of this writing, it has been 488 days since Rodriguez played professional baseball. By the time the Yankees suit-up for their first Spring Training game in March, it will have been one year, five months, one week, and three days since the last time Rodriguez donned pinstripes – and that’s assuming he plays some role in that game.…

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IIATMS Prospect Week 2015: Final Wrap-Up

I hope everybody had fun reading all of our Prospect Week posts this past week, especially the IIATMS Top 30.  If, for any reason, you missed anything earlier this week, here’s a quick recap post with all the links to the most important stuff.

IIATMS Top 30:

- Positions 35-31
- Positions 30-21
- Positions 20-11
- Positions 10-1
- The Individual Lists

Player Profiles:

- Miguel Andujar
- Jake Cave

Thanks to everybody for reading and thanks to those who commented.  Prospects are always a fun topic to debate.  Now let’s see how this crop does in 2015 and we’ll go back and update the list roughly 1 year from now.

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Weekend Open Thread: 1/25/15

Alex Rodriguez Arriving at  MLB Offices  in NYC

This is your weekend open thread.

If you live in the Northeast, go out and get some groceries because you may have three feet of snow dumped onto your house from Monday night through Wednesday morning. If you don’t live in the Northeast, you’re lucky.

Anyway, we do have some Yankee news. Alex Rodriguez wanted to meet and apologize to the Yankees, they said “Nope! See ya in Tampa!” Of course, there are a few versions of this story. Some headlines suggest that the Yankees just said no without explaining that they want to wait until Spring Training. How odd! So much sensationalizing! (Not really.) Oh and Alex met with new commissioner Rob Manfred and the meeting was positive. Go figure.

And speaking of Spring Training, we’re really close, you guys! It’s three weeks away! Thank goodness.

Enjoy your Sunday!

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The 2015 IIATMS Top 30: The Individual Lists

Just thought this might be something a few people would want to look at as an easier comparison of the differences between the individual lists.  Here are the 3 complete lists that made the final composite Top 30:

Brad’s Top 30:

1) Aaron Judge
2) Luis Severino
3) Gary Sanchez
4) Rob Refsnyder
5) Greg Bird
6) Ian Clarkin
7) Eric Jagielo
8) Domingo German
9) Tyler Austin
10) Luis Torrens
11) Jacob Lindgren
12) Ramon Flores
13) Miguel Andujar
14) Bryan Mitchell
15) Jose Ramirez
16) Jake Cave
17) Jorge Mateo
18) Ty Hensley
19) Mason Williams
20) Austin DeCarr
21) Dan Camarena
22) Leonardo Molina
23) Jose Pirela
24) Gosuke Katoh
25) Abiatal Avelino
26) Jordan Montgomery
27) Nick Rumbelow
28) Jaron Long
29) Alexander Palma
30) Brady Lail

Domenic’s List:

1) Aaron Judge
2) Luis Severino
3) Ian Clarkin
4) Gary Sanchez
5) Greg Bird
6) Jake Cave
7) Luis Torrens
8) Miguel Andujar
9) Jorge Mateo
10) Eric Jagielo
11) Rob Refsnyder
12) Tyler Austin
13) Jacob Lindgren
14) Domingo German
15) Ramon Flores
16) Ty Hensley
17) Abiatal Avelino
18) Bryan Mitchell
19) Leonardo Molina
20) Chasen Shreve
21) Jose Ramirez
22) Mason Williams
23) Austin DeCarr
24) Jordan Montgomery
25) Hyo-Jun Park
26) Alexander Palma
27) Tyler Webb
28) Chris Breen
29) Taylor Dugas
30) Jordan Foley

EJ’s List:

1) Aaron Judge
2) Luis Severino
3) Gary Sanchez
4) Greg Bird
5) Ian Clarkin
6) Domingo German
7) Rob Refsnyder
8) Jorge Mateo
9) Tyler Austin
10) Eric Jagielo
11) Luis Torrens
12) Ramon Flores
13) Jacob Lindgren
14) Jake Cave
15) Miguel Andujar
16) Bryan Mitchell
17) Ty Hensley
18) Mason Williams
19) Dan Camarena
20) Jose Ramirez
21) Angel Aguilar
22) Chasen Shreve
23) Alexander Palma
24) Leonardo Molina
25) Austin DeCarr
26) Dermis Garcia
27) Juan De Leon
28) Nelson Gomez
29) Abiatal Avelino
30) Jose Pirela

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