What’s the next move for the A’s?
No, the Athletics are not done. Their next move could be the signing of a Cuban infielder, but it’s more likely to be Hector Olivera, 29, than Yoan Moncada, 19.
To get Olivera, who has not yet been cleared to sign, the A’s only would need to make him the highest offer. Moncada, on the other hand, will be subject to international bonus pool limits as an amateur free agent.
The way the system works, any team that signs Moncada will pay a 100 percent tax on his contract. A $30 million deal would turn into a $60 million outlay, and that would be a problem for a low-revenue team such as the A’s.
The penalty would be due in a lump-sum payment sometime after the sides agreed upon a contract, and the A’s lack the flexibility to write that big a check, major-league sources said.
The situation is not unlike what the A’s experienced after the 2010 season when they won the rights to right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma with a $19.1 million posting fee.
The A’s reportedly offered Iwakuma a four-year, $15.25 million free-agent contract, far less than what he wanted. He stayed in Japan and signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Mariners the following off-season.
Given Moncada’s expected price, other low-revenue teams could back off Moncada for the same reason as the Athletics, leaving high-revenue clubs such as the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers in a stronger position.
Olivera, meanwhile, will hold his first open showcase at the Giants’ academy in the Dominican Republic on Jan. 21-22. He left Cuba in September, but still has not been declared a free agent by baseball or cleared by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
The Athletics are among the clubs expected to attend Olivera’s workout. If they signed him, they could play him at second base, Marcus Semien at shortstop and Ben Zobrist in the outfield.