A few days ago, I put up a hot stove piece about Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada. Moncada, the toolsy young switch-hitter, has been drooled over by scouts and baseball followers for a number of months now, and over the weekend, was declared a free agent by Major League Baseball.
Now, the only hurdle to Moncada signing with a team would be receiving clearance from the Office of Foreign Assets Control. Assuming that happens sooner rather than later, and there's no reason to believe that it won't. Moncada will likely be able to sign a deal well before July 2, 2015, which would be the earliest date that the Rangers would be able to realistically pursue him.
Due to international signing restrictions and the fact the Rangers spent over their budgeted pool previously, they are unable to spend more than $250,000 on any one player during the current signing period. Given that Moncada figures to sign for anywhere in the $30-40 million range, and potentially more, his free agency coming this soon all but eliminates the Rangers from the running for his services.
So, if you were holding your breath for the Rangers to sign the latest Cuban phenom, you should probably go ahead and exhale. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, he won't be headed to Arlington anytime soon.