ESPN's Jerry Crasnick posted a must read feature on a pair of Cuban outfielders today, 26-year-old Yoenis Cespedes and 19-year-old Jorge Soler. You do not need Insider to view the article. Here's a roundup of the pertinent hot stove news…
- Cespedes is moving closer to establishing residency in the Dominican Republic, which will then allow him to apply for free agency through MLB. His agent, Adam Katz of the Wasserman Media Group, declined to pinpoint a timetable for when that might happen.
- "The buzz in baseball circles is that it will take north of $50 million to sign Cespedes," says Crasnick, who notes that estimates have climbed higher in recent weeks.
- A large number of teams have expressed interest in signing Cespedes, and Crasnick says about two-thirds of those teams project him to play center field. The rest expect him to shift to right.
- Some clubs have turned their attention to Soler as Cespedes' price climbs, but Pirates director of Latin American scouting Rene Gayo says Soler is "not in the same class."
- "[Cespedes is] more likely to hit 30 homers than hit .300 and probably compares best to somebody like Cameron Maybin, but with more power if less range and speed," said one executive. "He's stronger and more stocky and may end up on an outfield corner in a few years, but for now he can play center field … For a club like the Yankees or Boston who can afford those investments, he makes some sense.''