Earlier today a scouting video was released of top Cuban prospect Yoenis Cespedes, who is expected to be declared a free agent in the next few weeks. The video has since been removed, but was a pretty impressive display of Cespedes’ abilities. On top of that, the video was somewhat entertaining, with some odd footage, including a Star Wars styled intro, and Cespedes roasting a pig at the end.
Cespedes is a 26 year old center fielder, and Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus calls him “arguably the best all-around player to come out of Cuba in a generation”. He’s expected to see a deal at least in the $30.25 M range that Aroldis Chapman received in 2010.
Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates were one of eight teams that had someone at Cespedes’ workouts. Brown mentions that the New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, and Florida Marlins are three of the teams that have private workouts in the upcoming weeks with Cespedes, but does mention that there are other teams with workouts.
His agent, Adam Katz, has said that he wants Cespedes to officially become a free agent, then wants all of the workouts to be complete before taking any bids.
Brown notes in the article that if the Yankees want him, the Yankees will get him. The Pirates would be going up against some top teams in this one, although money seems to be the only thing that matters. If the Pirates were going to over-spend, this is the type of deal they should pursue. Brown suggests that Cespedes could surpass the $30.5 M that Chapman received. He’d be signing for six years, so even something in the $40-50 M range would seem like a bargain if he lived up to his hype. I’d rather see the Pirates over-spend on a guy like this, rather than giving $50 M to an Edwin Jackson type free agent.
Odds are that the Pirates won’t land Cespedes, especially with the Yankees involved. Then again, in 2010 the Reds were able to land Chapman by making what seemed like a massive offer at the time (but is looking like it could amount to a big discount for Chapman’s services at this point). I wouldn’t say the Pirates have a shot unless we hear otherwise.