Monday, January 30, 2012

The latest word on Cuban defector Yeonis Cespedes

According to MLBTradeRumors.com, things are heating up on Cuban OF Yeonis Cespedes, whom the Tigers were rumored to be one of the teams that were interested in signing the former Cuban star.

Yeonis Cespedes

Baseball America’s Jim Callis said that Cespedes would rank in the top 7-15 of the Magazine’s Top 100 prospects list, meaning that he would end up being at the top of the list of any team that were to sign him.

Meanwhile Cespedes’ agent Adam Katz has told people, that “expects to be in camp with one of the Clubs in pursuit, and calls the market for Cespedes “meaningful and aggressive”.

Jim Bowden of ESPN says that meetings are expected to take place here in the U.S in the next 7-10 days, as Cespedes was granted free agency last week, by MLB, with his gaining residency in the Dominican Republic.

I am not convinced that the Tigers will be willing to spend the money to land Cespedes now that they have so much money invested in Victor Martinez, Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera and now Prince Fielder. 

Without the injury to V-Mart, I fully expected the Tigers to be one of the teams that would be aggressive in signing the former Cuban star, but while Owner Mike Ilitch has proven that he is willing to spend his money to try and win, i.e.; the Prince Fielder signing, I don’t think the Tigers have enough money left in the tank to go full bore after Cespedes.  I also think that Cespedes play in winter ball, 10 strikeouts in 35 at bats  while hitting 1 HR and only 5 hits, in a very brief winter ball stint in his new home the D.R. has dampened the shine on his star somewhat.

Media outlets are reporting that Cespedes and his agent are looking for a reported contract greater than that offered to Cuban LHP Aroldis Chapman last year, who signed a six-year, $30.25 million deal with the Cincinnati Reds. Cespedes is seeking a 4-6 year deal for as much as $6 million per year. 

While that price tag comes a lot cheaper than the $23 Million/yr deal signed by Prince Fielder it is also more than the Tigers might be able to afford now.

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