The departure of Justin Upton from the free agent market leaves the spotlight squarely on fellow star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. We recently heard of interest from as many as ten teams and the possibility of a fairly short signing timeline. And there’s been some chatter today as his market begins to take greater form.
Here’s the latest:
- Marlins president David Samson tells reporters, including Bob Nightengale of USA Today, that his team has no interest in signing Cespedes (Twitter link). Samson cited the team’s already crowded outfield picture as a reason for not pursuing the slugger.
- The Marlins “have discussed pursuing” the star Cuban on some kind of “short-term deal,” Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports on Twitter. But he says that it’s hard to see the club being in the lead for his services, and it’s also hard to disagree with that assessment. For such a move to come together, Rosenthal suggests, Miami would likely need to line up a deal involving center fielder Marcell Ozuna. (Presumably, Christian Yelich would slide to center.)
- Rosenthal also tweets that the Nationals are indeed interested in Cespedes, too — but only if his asking price comes down. We heard mention earlier today (via BobNightengale of USA Today, on Twitter) that both the Nats and the Astros had some discussions on Upton and might also be involved on Cespedes. It’s a bit of a stretch to imagine the Nats adding Cespedes, at least without making another move, though Washington is perhaps better able to take on his salary obligations than are other organizations with rumored interest. From a roster perspective, the team could in theory demote or trade Michael Taylor, put Ben Revere in a timeshare with Jayson Werth, and utilize Bryce Harper and/or Cespedes in center when Revere isn’t in the lineup.
- The Braves are yet another N.L. East club with continued amenability to a short-term pact with the star outfielder, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. As with the other teams, a trade — probably involving Nick Markakis or Ender Inciarte — could conceivably go along with a signing scenario. But O’Brien’s cautionary words seem worth heeding: “Don’t hold your breath.”
- We touched upon where things stand with the incumbent Mets this morning, though we haven’t heard of any recent movement on the team’s stance. (No word from the Phillies, alas.) Of course, it’s certainly plausible to imagine teams from other divisions remaining involved or joining the hunt.