Free-agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes held a showcase in Florida that 11 teams attended on Tuesday, according to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. The Yankees, White Sox, Brewers, Blue Jays, Tigers (one of Cespedes’ ex-teams), Padres, Rays, Reds, Marlins, Cubs and Braves were all on hand to watch Cespedes, per Davidoff.
As Davidoff notes, it’s interesting that the majority of clubs that scouted Cespedes are in the National League, which doesn’t appear likely to feature the designated hitter position in 2021. DH seems like the logical spot for Cespedes if he’s going to continue his career, as he hasn’t played the field since 2018, he’s aging (35), and he’s coming off four straight abbreviated seasons because of health issues. The two-time All-Star, most recently with the Mets, played in just 127 of a possible 546 regular-season contests from 2017-20.
Cespedes opted out of last season in August over COVID-19 concerns, but heel and ankle problems dogged him before then and helped make the four-year, $110MM guarantee he received from the Mets in November 2016 a disaster for the club. The two sides agreed to an amended contract in December 2019 that reduced Cespedes’ base salary from $29.5MM to $6MM, but New York didn’t get any bang for its buck out of that.
While Cespedes comes with question marks, he won’t land an expensive deal, which is one of the reasons so many clubs are considering him. When healthy, Cespedes has been a force at the plate, where he has batted .273/.327/.497 (124 wRC+) with 165 home runs in 3,490 trips. That track record could make him a worthwhile buy-low pickup for someone.