With several of this offseason's top free agents off the board, we should be hearing a lot more about Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes in the upcoming weeks. Here's the latest on the center fielder, courtesy of Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports:
Cespedes and his agent, Adam Katz of Wasserman Media Group, are starting negotiations at "Chapman money," one general manager tells Passan, in reference to Aroldis Chapman's six-year, $30.25MM contract with the Reds. The GM said Cespedes might even get a six-, seven- or eight-year deal. The GM also said he's "never seen a more confident agent" than Katz is with Cepedes, adding that the new CBA has increased the outfielder's market (Twitter links).
It's not so surprising to hear from an exec that Katz has high hopes for his client. For what it's worth, we also heard during the Winter Meetings that Katz is seeking a contract twice the value of Chapman's – $60MM – for Cespedes, which would certainly raise the stakes significantly in the bidding.
While Chapman hasn't been terrible, he hasn't exactly fulfilled his promise yet, either, so it's possible that could work against Cespedes. Then again, they are different players at different positions, and it doesn't appear that Daisuke Matsuzaka's troubles have had much of an effect on the bidding for Yu Darvish, as a roughly analogous comparison.