Cespedes still on Marlins’ shopping list

MIAMI — Sometime in the next 10 days, Cuban sensation Yeonis Cespedes is expected to become a free agent. When that day comes, the Marlins will be in the mix for the 26-year-old outfielder.

An industry source said Jan. 15 is a tentative day that Cespedes will establish residency in the Dominican Republic, and then petition MLB for free agent status. Even that date isn’t etched in stone, because there previously was a belief he’d be cleared on Nov. 30.

A few months ago, Marlins officials, including team owner Jeffrey Loria, attended a private workout for Cespedes in the Dominican Republic. The team continues to have interest and plans on eventually negotiating with the outfielder’s agent, Adam Katz.

The Marlins believe Cespedes is a natural fit in Miami, a city with a strong Cuban influence. The club’s new ballpark is located in the Little Havana section of the Miami.

Cost also appears to be working in the Marlins’ favor.

A couple of months ago, it was believed Cespedes was seeking an eight-year deal worth more than $60 million. Several teams have backed away from that number, and a source said Cespedes’ cost appears to be coming down.

More realistic numbers are four years in the $32 million range, the source said.

A four-year deal would get the outfielder to age 30, and he then could test the market again.

Joe Frisaro  

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