Cuban (and YouTube) star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is drawing looks from a number of MLB teams, the latest of whom is the Chicago Cubs.

Early last week, I reported that a source told me the Cubs were interested in Cespedes, despite an apparent lack of Cubs’ scouts at his public workouts. Well, it looks like you don’t need public workouts if you’re going to have a private workout.

According to Carrie Muskat, the Cubs are expected to have a private workout with the 26-year-old Cespedes, who is considered by some to be the best player in a generation to come out of Cuba.

If the Cubs decide to make Cespedes an offer, they’ll face plenty of competition, as half of MLB has been conneceted to the outfielder. It’s believed he’ll get more than the 6-year, $30.5 million fellow Cuban sensation Aroldis Chapman got two years ago from the Reds, and that number could rise precipitously after he worked out this week with the suddenly-flush Miami Marlins.

And it might be a wait: at least one source says Cespedes might not be able to sign with an MLB team for another two months, though that hasn’t been confirmed anywhere else.

  • EtotheR

    Can I get a phonetic pronunciation on the name?

    It looks like it might rhyme with some form of male genitalia. If this is the case…we might want to think again. The last Chicago sports figure to match this particular credential was…Curtis Enis.

    • Brett


      • EtotheR

        Thanks…first name?

        • Brett

          Ah. Now I gotcha. It’s yo-ennis. So you’re safe.

          • EtotheR

            “Yo! Ennis just peed hisself…”

            • Poopypants McGee

              I’m going to call him po-ennis.

              • Deer

                No doubt Poops. If he spurns the Cubs we can definitely have fun with his name.

    • RoughRiider

      Nothing like former Cub minor league first baseman Peter LaCock.

  • Andy

    I find it amusing that ever since 1 guy stated that Cespedes is the “best player in a generation to come out of Cuba”, that seems to have stuck. Considering he hasn’t played an inning of MLB ball, it’s a pretty far fetched statement.

    • ced landrum

      It’s not far fetched.  People think he is the best player to come out of Cuba, so presumably some must have saw him play in Cuba.

      Also it probably isn’t that much of a stretch to say he is better then say Alexi Rameriz and Yunesky Betancourt.

      • Andy

        Goldstein is the one attributed to that statement and I guarantee he’s never seen him play in person.  It’s far fetched.  I have no doubt he’s a good player, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to anything in MLB.  The last Cuban field player to be really good was Tony Perez.

        He’s also not a short stop.  And I would venture to guess he won’t start 2012 in the majors.

        • Brett

          Eh. It might prove incorrect that Cespedes is the best player in a generation (which is only the last 20 to 25 years, mind you), but it’s plausible based on scouts’ write-ups and his performance in international settings.

          I modified the language a bit to say that “some” feel he’s the best in a generation, but, again, I don’t think that’s quite as bold a statement as you suggest it is. He’s up against whom? Chapman, Ramirez, Morales?

          • JAndersonjr81

            His raw talent is phenomenal. I’m not saying he’s the best in a “generation”. He is how ever a very talented player that I think could have great success in the MLB. I also believe he can step right in at the MLB level. Reminds me of Soriano, who is not as bad as people make him out to be.

  • JAndersonjr81

    This is my first post on this site ever. Been reading for a while though. This has become my favorite cubs site. Better then, by far.

    I could care less how to pronounce his name, we should sign him. Forget about Pujols or Fielder. Don’t want either. Give me Cespedes, Darvish and Edwin Jackson and wait until next year for Kemp or Longoria.

    • Brett

      Thanks, JA.

    • Jim

      I thought the Rays signed Longoria to a long-term deal to forego arbitration?

      • hansman1982

        According to Cots here is the remainder of his contract:

        12:$4.5M, 13:$6M, 14:$7.5M club option ($3M buyout), 15:$11M club option, 16:$11.5M club option

        He isn’t going anywhere for a long time.

  • Cliffy

    Junior Lake played right field yesterday for the Solar Sox. Does anybody else think that Theo/Hoyer will try and find a way to take advantage of his athleticism to get him in the lineup even if it’s the outfield. If that’s the case it could be bad news for Tyler Collins chances with the Cubs.

  • Kyle

    I have a hard time imagining Lake being ready to make the 2012 Cubs. You are talking about a guy who just made AA in the second half of last season, and only hit .248 there. He’s going to need a great season at AA just to be on the radar for 2013.

    It’s amazing that just a couple of years ago he and Castro were considered indistinguishable prospects in terms of value.

    I do agree that Tyler Colvin’s spot is in jeopardy for 2012, but that has more to do with the fact that Colvin is terrible.

    • Brett

      Agreed on both; though it is interesting to see Lake traveling around the field.

  • JAndersonjr81

    If I’m the Pres/GM/Manager, Im playing Lake, Jackson and signing Cespeaes. All that athleticism has to be put to good use.

    • oso

      He’s seems like a hot dog. I don’t think i’ll like him.

  • die hard


  • Deer

    Would Cespedes be ready to play right away or need time in the minors? If the Cubs could get him for say 5-yrs $40M, that may be a more attractive option than signing a FA right fielder like Cuddyer for more $$. He would meet the criteria of youth and athleticism Hoyer has been speaking about.

    • Brett

      Hard to say – wouldn’t be surprised to see him get a couple months in the minors to get his footing.

  • Roland Perrelli

    If he is as good as touted and even need a little time in minors that would be a highly athletic team in two years. With him, castro, jackson, szczur, and lake that would be an awful lot of speed on the base paths. If you add in Fielder(my Wish maybe not Cubs) that would put a ton of pressure on the opposing defense and pitchers.

  • MrCub73

    Sure seems Cespedes it worth the gamble.  I am sure we will all have a better feel for whether he fits in the Cubs mix after the workout, but considering what is on the market Cespedes sure seems to be a good gamble even if the bidding eclipses the $50 mil mark for five or six years.  Cespedes is clearly an athlete, so unless the bidding gets totally ridiculous, the Cubs need to walk away high bidder.  Even if he only turns into a 280, 20-25 HR, 85 RBI, 30-35 SB guy with solid defense, he will be well worth the dollars spent.

  • Ashley

    Nice article Brett! I would like to see the Cubs take a chance on this guy, he seems like he would be a great pickup. Although I do not know much about him, my only fear would be he signs the big contact and is average at best. Cubs have wasted a lot of money in past few years on supposive good guys. Still think he is worth the risk!

  • ced landrum

    Interesting article on the Young Cuban.

    • Brett

      Very interesting. I’ll have to give that a treatment soon.

  • MichCubFan

    I hope we put in a lot of time in of Fielder and Pujols like we are with Cespedas. I am not specially huge on any of them for our team right now, but we can drive the price up for them so the Cards and Brewers have a harder time signing any of them…they also don’t have as much money as us so if on of them do oversign drastically for one of those players then they will be handcuffed in other areas.