In truth, following 26-year-old Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes became an Obsessive Watch weeks ago.
- Although Cespedes is free to negotiate with teams at this point, as has been discussed, he’s still waiting on clearance to come Stateside and work. It is expected soon, and it, alone, is not expected to hold things up. To that end, Cespedes’ agent Adam Katz says he is expecting Cespedes to sign in him to join his new team at Spring Training. “We are aware of the [Spring Training] dates,” Katz said. “We expect him to be in camp with one of the clubs.” Even though Cespedes is not expected to make a team out of Spring Training, his team is still going to want that time with him – and he’s going to want that sliver of a chance to make a big league team right away.
- Jim Bowden adds that Cespedes, himself, will be travelling to the States in about 7 to 10 days for face-to-face meetings with teams. If that’s planned, I’d think offers would be in place by then (if they aren’t already), and the meetings will be about additional “selling” Cespedes on the organization, and about getting a final feel for the player teams are offering to spend so many millions on. Positional players report to Spring Training – for the Cubs, at least – by February 23, so there won’t be much of a window for additional negotiations if Cespedes isn’t going to sign for 7 to 10 days, but is going to sign within 23 days.
- Bowden says there are about six teams hot and heavy on Cespedes, and five of them are the Cubs, White Sox, Marlins, Tigers, and Orioles. No real surprises there.
- For those who remain skeptical about Cespedes’ talent or value, Baseball America’s Jim Callis wants to clear up any confusion. Callis calls Cespedes “a center fielder with well above-average power and speed” who ranks as a 70 overall on the 20-80 scouting scale, and adds that Cespedes’ risk of busting at a “medium.” That combination makes Cespedes a top 15 prospect in all of baseball, and as high as number 7 overall. He would easily be the Cubs’ top prospect.