Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes was set to be one of this offseason’s biggest targets, thanks to his five-tool potential and the success he had last season in the Cuban league.
After defecting, his free agency was put on hold as he attempted to establish residency in the Dominican Republic. Now that he has completed that step, Cespedes is likely to be granted free agency any day, which means the bidding war for him should start shortly.
One team that will apparently be in the mix for the Cuban outfielder is the New York Yankees, who are said to be “big” on him. If New York really wants the 26-year-old, you’d have to think the Yankees will be able to put up the kind of money that can land him. The problem is, New York already has three starting outfielders in Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner. That means if the Yankees sign Cespedes, dominoes could start falling.
Gardner or Swisher could certainly be traded, or used in the designated hitter spot, but I really don’t see the latter happening.
Some sources have claimed the Yankees’ front office is actually divided on Cespedes. This could mean bad things, as the same was said about the Yankees and reliever Rafael Soriano, and we all know how that one turned out.
Cespedes is reportedly looking for a deal similar to the one Aroldis Chapman received, which would be somewhere in the $30 million range.
In 90 games in the Cuba last season, Cespedes hit .333 with 33 home runs and 99 RBI, with 89 runs, a .424 on-base percentage and a .667 slugging percentage.