Blog Entry

From Yu to Yoenis

Posted on: December 20, 2011 4:33 pm
If not Yu, maybe Yoenis.

It's time to move from one international man of mystery to another. It's time to move from one player fans crave without really knowing much about him to another.

Yu Darvish is off the market, his rights awarded to the Rangers late Monday night for a cool $51.7 million.

Next up, Yoenis Cespedes.

The 26-year-old Cuban outfield (and YouTube) sensation isn't technically available yet. His agent told that Cespedes should be able to establish residency in the Dominican Republic this week. There's another step after that before he can become a free agent, but the expectation in baseball is that he'll officially go on the market sometime in January.

And the expectation in baseball is that the bidding for him could get crazy.

Unlike Darvish, the Japanese pitcher who had to go through the blind-bid posting system, Cespedes will be a true free agent, meaning that competing teams can bid up the price.

Rival teams say that the market is still hard to call, but some regard the Marlins as the early favorite. In the latest Cespedes video to hit the internet, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen and owner Jeffrey Loria are featured prominently.

The video also shows Cespedes with Willie Horton of the Tigers, with Pat Gillick of the Phillies, with Theo Epstein of the Cubs and with Dave Magadan of the Red Sox. The Yankees are also expected to be involved, although their interest has been described as moderate.

Also, word in the international scouting community is that the White Sox watched Cespedes in a private workout recently. The White Sox have had recent success with Cuban players, having signed Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo.

There is also some talk that the Orioles will bid. There could be more. When Cespedes had an open workout last month, 150 scouts showed up.

An official of one team involved said that Cespedes' agents expect him to land a contract of between $25-45 million, but some in baseball have even speculated that the final price will be higher.

As with Darvish, there's no doubting Cespedes' natural ability. Many scouts have compared him to Bo Jackson, with a combination of speed and power that is rarely seen.

"He can beat out an infield hit to beat you, or he can come up the next time and hit it 500 feet to beat you," said one scout who has watched Cespedes. "He has a compact swing, with power. The swing plays, and the speed plays."

So what's the risk?

As with Darvish, Cespedes has never faced anything close to major-league competition day-in, day-out. No one knows how quickly he'll make the cultural adjustment.

Scouts from two teams said that they would feel more comfortable starting him off in the minor leagues first, to ease the adjustment.

As with Darvish, fans around baseball dream of Cespedes in their favorite team's uniform. On Twitter, I get more Cespedes questions than Prince Fielder questions.

With Darvish off the market, and with Cespedes about to enter it, let the madness begin.

Since: Mar 22, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 1:00 pm

From Yu to Yoenis

2012- The year of the Rangers!


Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: December 22, 2011 10:15 am

From Yu to Yoenis

Ricky-I actually agree with that idea (Beltran to left CC to right). Both are difficult to play at Fenway with the Monster, the Triangle, Pesky's Pole and the right-field corner, but I just don't think the Red Sox would move Crawford over there. He has never played RF in the majors even though we would all agree he has the athleticism to do it. He had a tough adjustment year to Boston last year and I am positive they wouldn't want to unsettle him with a move to right. I think Beltran will be too expensive for the Sox anyways, so we probably don't have to worry about all this. IF the Sox signed Beltran, he would be playing RF though, without a doubt, whether it makes the most sense or not.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: December 22, 2011 9:09 am

From Yu to Yoenis

Bo Jackson was the greatest athlete i've ever seen.  He did things in baseball and football that other great players couldn't do.  I believe had he concentrated on one sport or the other he would have been a HOFer in either, minus the injury.  He was so fast and powerful.  His arm was one of the best.  I once read where he could throw a football 90 yds in the air.  Last i knew he had the highest score ever at the NFL combine and that was what almost 30 years ago. 

Which brings me to this Cespedes guy.  To even being mentioned as being the same type of athlete as Bo Jackson is high praise, probably too high.  How many times has a guy been called the next this guy or that guy, only to turn out to be average?   A few end up being good or even great but none that i can think of have lived up to the billing.  (maybe you guys can name one).    It's not really fair to compare guys who have a track record to go by to another player, let alone one who doesn't like Cespedes.   

Yes, the guy may be fast. Yes the guy may be powerful.  However, he hasn't even seen minor league pitching.   Sure he may have had a few ABs here and there against guys who are in the majors and may have even had some success.   However, one thing i've learned over the years is that major league pitching will adjust to you.  A ton of guys have come up gotten off to great starts only to be proven average after major league pitchers have seen them once.  

If i were the major leagues i'd have a batting practice session with him going against some of the best pitchers in baseball.  Halladay, Lee,  Sabathia,  and Hernandez.   See how he fairs against the best of the best.  Then they could get a truer reading on what his level of success will be. 

Since: Jun 21, 2010
Posted on: December 22, 2011 12:53 am

From Yu to Yoenis

LOL.  It's hard enough to scout, project, and actually get it right, when it comes to selecting players in this country.  I sure don't know how teams expect to do any better going outside the country.  Obviously there is talent in other countries, but it is so much more difficult to gage those players.  Just one question, Do we really know how old Cespedes is?  Even at 26, I would argue that is old for a player yet to hit the minors, much less than to even begin facing minor league pitching.  It seems like way too much cash to shell out for a player that has a lot of " unknown ".  In business, sometimes the smart thing to do is to do nothing.  Let another team spend the cash for this player.   The smart team would use the dollars on a known commodity and wisely make their team better.

Since: May 12, 2008
Posted on: December 22, 2011 12:51 am

From Yu to Yoenis

Want this guy for your team?  DON'T want him for your team?  Either way, this is a lose, lose situation. 

Lose: so much pressure and coverage for one guy who has not swung a bat vs. ML pitching.  (SEE Jason Heyward- "The Saviour of Baseball" or maybe "The Strasburg)  this is "the can be, should be, might be category".  So many great players before this guy have come in and failed.  So much money and coverage.

Lose: investing team and its players... whether this guy delivers or not.  Sure, a WS ring would be great but what if he does not deliver or, if your other players don't care for his media coverage, salary, and/or attitude.

Lose: MLB and its fans.  This will only motivate, fasciliate, and rationalize higher prices at the ball park he plays in.  I have a hard time dropping $10 for a beer at my favorite park.  The NEXT guy will want more. 

Winner: Bo Jackson.  To read his name in articles about this guy reminds me of the greatest two-way athlete ever (never saw Jim Thorpe).  Jackson was AWESOME to watch play and more people need to appreciate what he did.  Injury shortened his career and his numbers.

Winner: media.  more fodder = more "work"

Miami, NY, or some other smaller market team will mortgage their future on this guy and the sport I enjoy so much. 

Since: Feb 23, 2008
Posted on: December 22, 2011 12:26 am

From Yu to Yoenis

Very seldom does a high profile Cuban or Japanese player come to MLB after signing a ridiculous contract and come anywhere close to justifying the contract (and sometimes negotiating fee).

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: December 21, 2011 7:11 pm

From Yu to Yoenis

Cespedes won"t hit 250 in MLB.  Mark it down.

Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: December 21, 2011 6:44 pm

From Yu to Yoenis

It seems amazing to me that a major league team would invest perhaps as much as 60 million dollars for a player who has never faced major league pitching.  It would be like me taking my entire months salary and invest it in lottery tickets.  I could really get paid off, but most likely I will lose my...well, you know.  That said, as a die hard Tigers fan who will invest ZERO dollars personally, I hope he lands in Comerica! Go Tigers!

Since: Apr 13, 2009
Posted on: December 21, 2011 5:37 pm

From Yu to Yoenis

damnyankee, the yankees did resign swisher and cc. They have done a better job this offseason even if they haven't signed a player that wasn't on the team last year (I don't know about minor things)

Since: Jan 18, 2011
Posted on: December 21, 2011 3:24 pm

From Yu to Yoenis

OK SoxInRhody...they can give him a try in RF if they want.  Beltran's knees are pretty much shot at this point, so good luck with that.  Crawford is the one with wheels...why not make him move to RF?  Beltran would do much better shagging doubles off the Monster and DHing against tough lefties, IMO.

You tell me if it makes sense to have Beltran cover that spacious RF while Crawford's speed is wasted in LF...
I know I'd rather have Beltran over Cespedes any day.  Regardless of his knees, Beltran can still hit, which he proved last year.

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