Yoenis Cespedes To Gain Free Agency

7:15pm: The Red Sox are "sending everyone" to the Dominican to evaluate Cespedes, according to MLB.com's Peter Gammons.  The Rangers are also interested, along with the many teams named below, according to Gammons, who confirms that small-market teams like the A's, Pirates and Indians will be involved.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports names the Marlins, Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, and Nationals as teams with a significant presence at the Friday workout.

5:49pm: Yankees GM Brian Cashman confirmed that he saw the Cespedes video, but wouldn't say whether the Yankees are interested, according to Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger (link on Twitter; the video has been removed).  Meanwhile, Braves GM Frank Wren told David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he doesn't expect to sign the center fielder, though they're checking in on him (Twitter link).

2:25pm: The Yankees, Phillies, Blue Jays, Giants, Marlins, Nationals, Indians, Athletics, and Pirates have had a presence at Cespedes' workouts, reports Yahoo's Tim Brown.  Giants GM Brian Sabean told reporters today that his team will not be involved on Cespedes, however (via Andrew Baggarly on Twitter).  

Agent Adam Katz tells Brown he'll wait until his client is technically declared a free agent before discussing contract terms with teams.  The Yankees, Phillies, and Marlins will have private workouts with Cespedes within the next few weeks, with a Marlins contingent heading to the Dominican Republic this week.  

8:30am: Cuban center fielder Yoenis Cespedes defected mid-summer and is expected to be cleared for free agency within a matter of weeks, reports Yahoo's Jeff Passan.  The 26-year-old is "arguably the best all-around player to come out of Cuba in a generation," according to Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus, who describes Cespedes as "a legitimate centerfielder with plus power and speed."  Both Passan and Goldstein expect the 26-year-old to receive a deal in the range of the $30.25MM Aroldis Chapman received in January of 2010.  MLBTR first told you about Cespedes' escape from the Cuban National Team in July.

If you really want to get to know Cespedes, though, you need to watch the 20-minute YouTube video sent by his trainer to MLB teams.  Goldstein's column provides a full breakdown of this bizarre production, but I'll just note that it includes Cespedes making a 45-inch vertical jump, leg-pressing 1,300 pounds (with two friends atop the weights), catching a flyball behind his back while facing the batter (twice), a thank you to Ahman Green, and the player roasting a pig.  Some of the songs used may not be appropriate for your workplace, except for Christopher Cross' 1980 hit "Sailing," which was deemed too tame even for your office's elevator.

Cespedes is represented by Adam Katz of Wasserman Media Group.  Passan says the Yankees are "particularly hot" for the center fielder.  Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post says the Nationals had multiple talent evaluators on hand at Cespedes' workout last week in the Dominican Republic, and a team official said they'd "love to have him."  Ownership has been informed about Cespedes and what it would take to sign him.  The Marlins and Phillies are also in the mix for Cespedes, writes Kilgore.  As with Chapman, this type of player in his prime will draw the interest of almost every club.  

The Marlins have the inside track, one American League source who attended the showcase told Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.  A Marlins contingent including owner Jeffrey Loria will visit Cespedes in the Dominican Republic later this week, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  


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