According to Carrie Muskat, the Cubs will hold a private workout session for Cuban star Yoenis Cespedes. The 26 year old is supposed to be the best player to come out of Cuba recently, and that even includes the Reds’ Aroldis Chapman who signed two years ago. Cespedes is expected to get a contract larger than Chapman’s 6 year, $30.5 million. However, the date of the workout was not disclosed.
If the Cubs do in fact want to pursue Cespedes and offer him a contract, they will have plenty of competition. About half the clubs in majors do have interest in Cespedes and may be willing to offer a contract more lucrative than Aroldis Chapman’s. The team most notably of which may offer Cespedes a big contract is the Miami Marlins. The Marlins seem to be going all-out this off-season and wouldn’t surprise me if they offered him a contract close to $40 million or more. Reportedly, the Marlins are close to signing ex-Met Jose Reyes, and they have made preliminary offers to big time free agents Albert Pujols and Mark Buehrle.
Cespedes is a speedy outfielder and right-handed hitter, and is widely considered a 5-tool player. Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus called Cespedes “arguably the best all-around player to come out of Cuba in a generation.”
Phil Rogers was the first to report the Cubs interest in Cespedes. However, it’s being reported that Cespedes may not be able to sign with any team for another two more months. I believe that Cespedes may not have filed his paperwork in as that process takes about two months. But that report has not been confirmed and I may be wrong.
I wouldn’t mind the Cubs signing Cespedes, as he looks like the real deal. I don’t know where he would bat, but anywhere 2-5 in the line-up would seems logical. If the Cubs were to call-up top prospect outfielder Brett Jackson, their outfield would become athletic for the first time in a while, as both Jackson and Cespedes are labeled as pretty good outfielders. I’m not sure if Cespedes would need time in the minors, but if Cespedes shows he can play over in the USA during spring training, I see him sticking around.
We will probably hear more about Cespedes going forward. Also, with the GM meetings starting tomorrow, more rumors surrounding the Cubs will be heard.