Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus called Yoenis Céspedes “arguably the best all-around player to come out of Cuba in a generation.” That’s some heavy praise for a young man who hasn’t played a single inning in the Major Leagues.
The 26-year old, who made the decision to defect from Cuba and take his chances as a free agent on the biggest stage in baseball, is garnering a lot of attention. And as expected, Cespedes will surely cash in when the team’s start the bidding war.
Our friends over MLB Trade Rumors first captured the report from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. Passan mentions that Cespedes and his agent, Adam Katz are expected to start the negotiations similar to that of Cincinatti Reds, Aroldis Chapman‘s contract of 6 years, $30.25 million. Passan also notes that during the winter meetings it was heard that Katz could seek a contract as high as $60 million for Cespedes. This is surely where the the penny conservative teams will pull out and the spenders will play.
Someone please cue Ben Cherington and let him know this is his time to make a statement to Red Sox Nation.
If the Red Sox could pull off the bidding and subsequential signing of Cespedes it would suddenly open up a whole new window of possibilities. Not only would Josh Reddick become expendable in a trade package, but so to would Ryan Kalish. The chain reaction Gio Gonzalez from the hands of Billy Beane in Oakland. A major upgrade in right also allows a major upgrade to the rotation.
One thing we know is certain; Cespedes won’t come cheap. Especially when you consider both the Yankees and Phillies were once interested and now so to are the suddenly big spenders, Miami Marlins.
Which brings us to Ben Cherington and the upper levels of Sox nation management. Since when did the Sox become skin-flints ? I can appreciate the need to stay under the luxury tax threshold. But this guy is a near perfect fit for this team. A right handed power bat who runs, throws and fields. A 5 tool athlete in the mold of a young Ken Griffey Jr.
Ben Cherington has already made the trip to the Dominican Republic back in November so he’s witnessed first hand the talent that Cespedes possesses.
His batting numbers for last season are impressive; .333/.424/.667 with 33 home runs and 99 RBI in 90 games. Ok, so these numbers were put up in Cuba. That’s not the MLB, but it’s not that far off either.