Cuban sensation Yoenis Cespedes is now officially a resident of the Dominican Republic. Since November, that has long been the viewed as the major hurdle to Cespedes becoming an official Major League free agent. Before teams can start bidding on Cespedes, Major League Baseball will send official notification to all 30 major league teams announcing Cespedes’ status as a free agent. There is not much that can be said that has not been said over the course of the off-season. Cespedes is considered to be the best prospect to come out of Cuba in a generation. Cespedes has been hyped as five-tool outfielder and many teams have been linked to the Cuban sensation throughout the winter. The likes of the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, Miami Marlins, Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, and Cubs have all been linked to Cespedes. Given the amount of teams interested and the potential that Cespedes possesses, it is likely that the Cuban outfielder will receive a contract worth anywhere from $30 million to $60 million. Despite the fact that almost every Major League Baseball team is at least aware of Cespedes’ abilities, the only two teams that should be seriously viewed as potential suitors for Cespedes are the Marlins and the Cubs.
The Marlins have long been interested in Cespedes, and because of that reason, the team that resides in Miami has been considered as the favorites to sign Cespedes. While the Marlins may have interest in Cespedes, Cespedes may not be interested in Miami?
There are plenty of pros to Cespedes joining the Marlins. For one, the Marlins have already admitted that they will aggressively pursue the Cuban sensation. Meaning the Marlins may be prepared to offer Cespedes north of $60 million. In addition to potentially offering the most money to Cespedes, playing his home games in Miami would figure to be ideal for Cespedes who likely will want to return to the Dominican Republic during the All-Star break and after the season.
But despite all those reasons as to why Cespedes would find the Marlins ideal, Dan Knobler of CBS Sports tweets that Cespedes does not want to go to the Marlins. Knobler mentions that Cespedes is telling other Major League teams that he would prefer not to play in Miami. I am trying to think of how Cespedes may using these comments as a negotiating play with the Marlins but I do not think that is the case. Cespedes has yet to be determined as a free agent by Major League Baseball, meaning any contract discussion with a Major League team is prohibited. This appears to be a case of the common cliche, for the Marlins at least, that the truth hurts. With Cespedes reluctant to play in Miami, does that mean the Windy City is in his future?
All indications would point that way. Cespedes has already told reporters that the Cubs have been the team to register the most interest in him, and President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein, General Manager Jed Hoyer, and VP of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod all seem to be high on the Cuban prospect. The Cubs’ front office has yet to spend any significant amount of money this winter to make up for the departures of Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena and it is entirely possible to think that Epstein and company were saving that money to put in an offer for Cespedes.
The big splash that many Cubs’ fans have been salivating for may finally be coming in the form of Cespedes.