Results tagged ‘ Yoenis Cespedes ’

2/14 Cubs keep tabs on Soler

The Cubs have been keeping tabs on 19-year-old Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler. However, reports from the Dominican Republic that they have an agreement in place to offer him a $27.5 million deal may be premature. Soler is waiting for clearance from Major League Baseball before he can be declared a free agent. There were reports that the Cubs signed 19-year-old Cuban pitcher Gerardo Concepcion, but the team has not confirmed that. On Monday, Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes agreed to a four-year, $36 million deal with the Athletics. The Cubs did scout Cespedes as well.

– Carrie Muskat

Tigers had contract talks on Cespedes

The Tigers indeed had interest in Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski confirmed Monday, and had contract talks with agent Adam Katz. However, Dombrowski said, they eventually determined they weren’t going to meet their contract demands.

Cespedes agreed to terms Monday with the Oakland A’s on a four-year contract worth $36 million, passing on a reported six-year offer worth the same amount from the Florida Marlins. It ended a courtship that supposedly involved more than a half-dozen teams and made Cespedes baseball’s highest-profile free agent left on the market for the last couple weeks.

The interest was high enough that Dombrowski traveled to the Dominican Republic to personally watch Cespedes work out.

“We liked him,” Dombrowski told MLB.com Monday in a phone interview. “We talked contract with him, but we were not in a position to pay for him the amount they wanted.”

For a good part of the offseason, Cespedes was believed to be the Tigers’ top free-agent target. Dombrowski was one of about a half-dozen top Tigers officials to see Cespedes, either in workouts last November or at international tournaments over the last couple years. Last month, Cespedes listed the Tigers among a half-dozen teams showing the most interest in him.

The fact that the Tigers kept their comments limited on Cespedes, and the fact that Detroit didn’t get heavily involved on high-profile free agents early in the offseason, added to the intrigue.

That level of interest didn’t change after the Tigers signed Prince Fielder last month, Dombrowski said. However, he cautioned, they determined pretty soon where their talks were heading, despite reports labeling them among the favorites.

“I really wouldn’t have ruled us as a favorite to sign him, based upon where some of our preliminary conversations went with his agent,” Dombrowski said.

Those early talks apparently showed where Cespedes wanted to go — not just in terms of annual salary, but the length of contract. Dombrowski confirmed that a four-year deal was a big point, since it would allow him to hit the free-agent market sooner rather than later.

“That was pretty much always something that they outlined,” Dombrowski said. “If you were going to sign him, you would have to agree to that.”

With Cespedes off the market, the Tigers are now set with their position roster. Dombrowski said they were likely set before Cespedes signed, believing they weren’t likely to add him.

Katz told MLB Network Radio on Monday afternoon that the Marlins were the only team that met Cespedes in person during his visit to Miami last week.

– Jason Beck

Cespedes to work out for Tigers

The Tigers have been among the many teams scouting Cuban five-tool outfielder and recent YouTube sensation Yoenis Cespedes, and they haven’t made a secret that they’ve watched him. Now, even team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski is apparently going to get a first-hand look at the man who appears set to surpass Aroldis Chapman as the most hotly-pursued Cuban talent.

An industry source confirmed Dombrowski will watch Cespedes work out in the Dominican Republic, which has been Cespedes’ home since defecting from Cuba earlier this year. Credit Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com with the first report on Dombrowski, who was out of pocket on Wednesday when the Tigers announced their two-year contract to bring back free agent infielder Ramon Santiago.

Tigers interest in a Cuban prospect is not unusual. They scouted Chapman a couple years ago and were interested before the bidding escalated. But Dombrowski’s trip to watch him is rare. Usually, international operations director Tom Moore handles those duties, with vice president Al Avila and special assistant Dick Egan making scouting trips to Latin America. Avila told the Detroit Free Press two weeks ago that they’ve scouted Cespedes several times. Special assistant David Chadd watched a Cespedes workout earlier this month, according to the Detroit News.

That level of observation suggests the Tigers are serious in their interest. With the level of bidding expected, it makes sense for the man in charge to want a look. Cespedes has been working out for teams since the start of November.

– Jason Beck

11/21 Cubs to watch Cespedes

The Cubs are expected to get a first-hand look at Cuban defector Yoennis Cespedes on Tuesday in the Dominican Republic. Jason McLeod, senior vice president of scouting and player development, was part of the Cubs contingent in the Dominican. Cespedes, a  26-year-old right-handed hitting outfielder, has worked out for the Red Sox, Marlins and Yankees, among other teams. However, his asking price, believed to be around $50 million, may be a little steep for the Cubs. McLeod also had a chance to scout 19-year-old Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler in the Dominican.

– Carrie Muskat

Agent: Cespedes is ready for bigs

Once he declares residency in the Domnican Republic and becomes eligible for Major League free agency, Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes figures to be one of the most sought-out position players on the market.

Agent Adam Katz is confident that his client is ready to play in the Major Leagues this season.

“I’m not an evaluator, but I’m told by people who evaluate, he is [big league ready],” said Katz from baseball’s General Managers meetings.

Even Katz admitted it’s hard to know quite what the value will be for Cespedes.

“It’s really touchy feely,” Katz said. “He’s an unusual guy. He’s 26. He’s major league ready. People are going to be evaluate. A value will be established. People will bid competitively, and it will be what it will be.”

While Katz sees his client as a center fielder, he would be willing to play the corner positions, something that would help a team like the Boston Red Sox, who have a vacancy in right field.

The Red Sox will look at Cespedes later this week in the Dominican Republic. The Cubs are also scouting him this week. Several other teams have also expressed interest in Cespedes, who has become a bit of a sensation since the posting of a highlight video on Youtube.

“I’ve never seen anything quite like it since ‘Spinal Tap,’” Katz said. “At the end of the day, it was compelling. As quirky as it was, it ended up being very compelling.”

Ian Browne

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