Wednesday should bring with it a major update on Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes received his visitor’s visa on Tuesday, and flew to the United States yesterday afternoon. In the evening, the Cuban prospect had dinner with his agent Adam Katz to prepare for what is going to happen next. Cespedes will meet with the Miami Marlins today and then from there it is not really known what will happen next. After the jump, we will try to layout the blueprint for Cespedes, take a look at comments made by starting pitcher Matt Garza, as well as look to see who is already in Arizona, and could Adrian Cardenas supplant Darwin Barney as the starting second baseman?
- Yoenis Cespedes, as expected, will meet with the Miami Marlins on Wednesday. The plan is for Cespedes to have lunch with the Marlins’ brass before taking a tour of the Marlins’ new stadium. Up to this point, the Marlins have been right up their with the Cubs in regards to how aggressive they are pursuing Cespedes. The interesting thing is that Marlins, unlike the Cubs, have been more than open in their pursuit of the Cuban sensation. The Marlins’ front office already admitted weeks ago that they will be aggressive in pursuing Cespedes and the comments continued on Tuesday night. Marlins’ president David Samson told ESPN that “I don’t know how tomorrow will go, but it would not surprise me if it ended with an offer.” From those comments alone, it would seem that the Marlins are trying to sign Cespedes as quickly as possible. A strategy that I don’t think will work. While not much is known, Cespedes does appear to be patient in finding a team while still eager to sign. A couple weeks ago, Cespedes told reporters that the Cubs were the most interested team in his services. While Cespedes did admit that, he also said that doesn’t mean he will sign with them. The same philosophy will likely be on display when Cespedes visits the Marlins. Even though he may receive a contract offer, Cespedes likely will want to hear from the Cubs and possibly the Chicago White Sox before making a decision. The expectation is for Cespedes to only be in the United States for three or four days, before he travels back to the Dominican Republic and waits to be granted his worker’s visa. It is not known if the Cubs plan to visit Cespedes while he is staying in Miami.
- Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Matt Garza had an interview with CSN Chicago during their airing of Chicago’s Hot Stove. Garza admitted that he is interested in being with the Cubs on a long-term basis as he loves the city of the Chicago as well as the “loyal Cubs fans”. This comes as no surprise. Prior to the Cubs convention, there were reports that Garza was uncomfortable with the trade rumors that surrounded him as the pitcher was not interested in leaving the Cubs’ organization. Having said that, Garza has been traded twice before, and knows that trades are a part of the business. Nonetheless, President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein did have a sit-down with Garza, and it is likely that Garza now has a clear picture of where he stands with the team.
- During his weekly chat, Bruce Levin suggested that newest addition Adrian Cardenas could beat out Darwin Barney for the team’s starting second base position. In such a scenario, Barney would then become the team’s primary back-up to the both the second base and shortstop positions. That may be the best scenario for the Cubs as Cardenas appears to be the better overall hitter than Barney, the only question is can the former Athletics’ top prospect field the position to a level that satisfies manager Dale Sveum. If he can, then Cardenas will likely be the starting second baseman before too long.
- The best spring training insider for the Chicago Cubs, Tim Sheridan of Boys of Spring, provides us with another update of the players that are already in camp. Sheridan reports–included in his reports are pictures–that outfielder Dave Sappelt (acquired in the Sean Marshall trade), right fielder David DeJesus, Matt Garza, and pitcher Jeff Samardzija are all among the latest arrivals to the Cubs’ spring training camp.