If winning Moncada costs a team $35 milliion + 100% penalty + two messed-up international signing terms, then your cost for a top prospect is over $70 million, right?
How much would it cost to get another team's top prospect from them instead? Let's take Buxton for example. Can you imagine a scenario where a team like the Cardinals could spend $70 on a Heyward extension, for instance, (or sign and trade James Shields if you want to trade a guy that isn't counted on for your roster) then trade him to the Twins for Buxton, eating the cost? Or to flip it around, last spring, if you were the Cardinals, would you take a virtually free known quantity star (a 5+ year contract for age 28-34ish seasons) from another team for Oscar Taveras? Would you take James Shields, or Nelson Cruz, or Pablo Sandoval at no-cost for Buxton?
Are there other ways teams could spend $70 million dollars to add 6 years of a top 10 prospect to their system?
AND, if teams are looking to spend that kind of money on a top 10 prospect, are there ways another team could use that to their advantage?
Prospects are all about controlled costs and potential. The Cubs could trade their prospects and field a team of Free Agents and Extended Talent for years at no $ cost to them. They'd have the controlled costs, and the way prospects pay-out (or rather don't) they'd probably be a lot better off in the realized potential department too (although FAs don't always deliver either). When you frame it as - trading prospects for players at the beginning of their contracts with the other team paying for it, it sounds like no one would go for that. Except when you look at the value exchanges going on with the Moncada situation, how is it any different?