Tuesday Tidbits: Cespedes, DeWitt, Spring Training
The off-season may be soon giving away to Spring Training, but will not preclude the Chicago Cubs’ front office from making more adjustments to the roster as the team prepares for opening day 2012. The Cubs latest roster move is an example of that philosophy. While Blake DeWitt was not necessarily an important piece to the Cubs’ picture in 2012, no one expected the veteran utility man to be DFA’d in favor of 24 year old utility man Adrian Cardenas–who the Cubs claimed off waivers from the Oakland Athletics. After the jump, there will be more on DeWitt, and updates on Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.
- Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reported on Monday night that Yoenis Cespedes has been anxiously waiting in the Dominican Republic to meet with his potential suitors. Cespedes intends to meet his potential suitors in the United States, though, he had to wait until he received his vistor’s visa. More on that in the following point. Levine notes that the Cubs and Miami Marlins are in a bidding war for Cespedes and could be driving his price up to a contract that is worth $60 million over the course of six years. Sources told Levine that Cespedes wants to be in a major league camp by mid-February on the outside chance that he can make the 25 man roster coming out of Spring Training. That may be the case, but it still seems likely that Cespedes will need at least a month at the AAA level before being ready for the major league level.
- Speaking of Cespedes’ visitor’s visa, the Dominican Republic resident receieved it today. Cespedes will be flying into Miami this afternoon and meeting with his agent tonight before having face-to-face conversation with members from the Marlins’ front office on Wednesday. It is not known if Cespedes will be flying to the cities of the team’s interested him, or if the team’s will be visiting Miami to speak with Cespedes. No matter how the situation unfolds, the Cubs may already have a leg up on the advantage. Remember last week that Cubs’ chairman Tom Ricketts took key members’ of the team’s front office down to the D.R. to review the Cubs’ new academy. While the names of the members that traveled to the D.R. with Ricketts are not known, one could assume that Epstein, general manager Jed Hoyer, and/or VP of scouting and player development Jason McLeod made that trip. Keep in mind that Cespedes, who did not have his visa at the time, was in the Dominican Republic. While no one on the Cubs’ side will ever confirm this, it is possible that people from the Cubs’ side had some type of contact with Cespedes’ people. The Cubs are doing everything possible to land Cespedes, and will pull out all stops to make sure he signs with them rather than the Marlins.
- Even though the Cubs’ designated Blake DeWitt for assignment, it still is a possible that he remains with the organization. Assuming DeWitt clears waivers, the veteran would then be outrighted to the Iowa Cubs and be invited back to Spring Training as a non-roster invitee. With that said, DeWitt may be more interested in finding an opportunity elsewhere rather than with the Cubs. DeWitt would likely be facing an uphill battle against Cardenas to make the 25 man roster.
- The Cubs’ Spring Training bus is packed with the team’s equipment and is en route to Arizona. Another sign, that Baseball is back!