Update On The Moncada Situation: The Wheels Are In Motion, Things Are Happening Even As We Speak

Not sure too many people saw the update to yesterday afternoon's Yoan Moncada unblocking post, so here's the full update as of early last night. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the policy requiring native Cubans to apply for and receive a specific unblocking license before they can be let into the United States has been changed by the US Treasury Dept.  Because he had already met the criteria required for the general unblocking license, Moncada has now been declared eligible to enter the US to play baseball, at least as far as the US government is concerned.

The burden now falls on MLB to verify Moncada's identity and residency paperwork before officially declaring him a free agent.  MLB had been hiding behind the specific license policy as a way to avoid that responsibility and delay Moncada's entry into the country, for reasons we'll never be told but I assume I already know.  According to Passan's report, MLB was working yesterday to set up a meeting with the US OFAC to go over the specifics of the policy change.  He quoted a league official who said that if the meeting happened soon, Moncada "could be free to negotiate with teams within two weeks."

That would be great news for the Yankees, who would then have about 4 months to sign Moncada before the 2014-2015 signing period ended.  They've appeared to be in the driver's seat on Moncada from the beginning, and they're one of the few teams who can afford to take the 100% tax penalty hit on what some are estimating could be a $30-40 million deal.  Hopefully this forward motion by both the OFAC and MLB will continue in a timely fashion and get Moncada's free agency going soon.