Before I get to Yoan Moncada, a recap of some events.
First, some passings. Legendary UNC college basketball coach Dean Smith passed away at age 83. Golfer Billy Casper, who won 3 majors, passed away also, as did the “Jackie Robinson of golf”, Charlie Sifford. Sifford was the first black on the PGA tour.
Continuing with golf for a moment, does anyone still think Tiger Woods will win another major? Maybe even another tournament? How the mighty have fallen.
Ok, on to the 19-year-old Moncada, a five-tool prospect who everyone thinks is just about major league ready. A switch-hitting prospect who would be a young stud in the way of a Mike Trout or Bryce Harper (ok, Harper has disappointed a bit so far).
But if the Yanks sign Moncada, they pay double because by signing something like 12 of the top 30 International Free Agents, they have a penalty. Not only that, but they are seriously restricted in the international free agent market for the next two years.
So the Yanks have to decide if Moncada is worth it. That worth, I think, would not only be on the diamond, but OFF it.
For who is the face of the Yankees now? (Please don’t say A-Rod). The Core Four is gone, and players like Teix, Beltran, Ellsbury, and McCann made their mark with other teams.
What I am saying is this. Moncada is young, talented, and could be the next Jeter, Rivera, Bernie or Posada, meaning someone who is a Yankee at a young age, stays with the Yankees his whole career, helps them win titles, is (like Jeter) a magnet for the girls, and becomes the face of the franchise.
That face of the franchise translates into marketability. For who do the Yankees market now? Tanaka? Betances? Who is their most marketable player now that the Core Four are gone?
That is why developing players like Severino, Greg Bird, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and possibly winning the Yoan Moncada derby may be important—for success OFF the field (marketing a new core group of players) as well as ON the field.
For who is the face of the Yankees now? Who would YOU market?