The next-to-final hurdle to Yoenis Cespedes joining a Major League team has been cleared, according to multiple reports.
The 26-year-old Cuban outfielder has received a visitor’s visa from the United States, and will head to Miami today to meet with his agent, Adam Katz. From there, he’s expected to meet with the Marlins, and will take a tour of the facilities there, probably tomorrow. In other words, the Marlins are going to put on the hard sell.
Cespedes has not yet received a work visa, necessary to sign with a team, but it’s fair to assume that will be coming soon.
As for meeting with the Marlins, I wouldn’t read too much into it, as it was expected to happen. The fact that it is his first Stateside meeting doesn’t mean much given that he’ll probably meet with a number of teams (including the Cubs) before he actually signs, and has already met with various members of the Cubs’ front office over the past couple months in the Dominican Republic.
Bruce Levine believes Cespedes will be in the States for just a few days, and may not meet with any other teams during this visit. From there, he’ll head back to the DR to await his work visa (for all we know, his travel visa was conditional on him going to Miami for a few days only, and then heading back to the DR). Ken Rosenthal says it’s possible other teams’ executives will head down to Miami to meet with Cespedes.
Here’s hoping his work visa doesn’t come through while he’s in Miami, and then the Marlins make him a you-must-accept-this-before-you-leave kind of offer.