(Photo: Juan C. Rodriguez/Sun Sentinel)

As you may know by now, I’m a fan of parsing quotes to derive hidden meaning – or to, at a minimum, explain why initial interpretations aren’t always accurate with respect to what the person is actually saying.

I’m not sure how much I can do with this one.

After arriving in Miami late yesterday, Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes was greeted by the media, and offered the following:

“It would be good [to play here in Miami],” said Cespedes. “There are a lot of Cubans and they would support me a lot. Hopefully I can play for the Marlins.”

Yes, there could be gamesmanship there, or he could have been caught up in the swirl of excitement. And, yes, his desire to play for the Marlins doesn’t mean he’ll ultimately sign there (if they’re offering far less money, for example). But, like. Yeah. That’s a blunt statement.

The tea leaves have obviously started to point away from the Chicago Cubs.

The Marlins are meeting with Cespedes today, and the day may even end with an offer. At least one American League source says Cespedes to the Marlins eventually is going to happen. Cespedes is still awaiting his work visa from the United States, but he’s free to negotiate with teams and come to terms on an agreement in the meantime. He simply can’t yet execute a contract and work in the U.S.

If you’re still wanting Cespedes to come to the Cubs (as I am), you can probably glean some small sliver of hope from Marlins President David Samson’s comments yesterday about what he expects for today, and for an offer to Cespedes.

“We want him, but we don’t need him,” Samson told ESPN, likening Cespedes to the “cherry on the top” of their offseason. “The difference is this: When you want a player, you aggressively go out and try to sign him. When you need him, that’s when negotiations get very one-sided.

“There’s no question we’re aggressive in evaluating this player,” Samson added. “We think he’s a great player and he’ll be a great player. And we’re prepared to do something spectacular in my opinion. But it may not match what he thinks is spectacular. And it may not match what other teams are prepared to do.”

Samson – who has been extraordinarily open about his team’s pursuit of Cespedes (as the organization was with respect to, for example, Albert Pujols and Jose Reyes) – reminds us that even when a player wants to play for a certain team, and even when that team wants the player, sometimes it doesn’t work out, due to the realities of finance.

But it sounds like, if Cespedes needs a tiebreaker, living and playing in Miami during the season is going to be it.

It sounds like there’s still a fair bit of time left in the drama, though. The Orioles are still planning to scout Cespedes late next week in the Dominican Republic, so apparently they don’t believe he’ll be signing before then.

(The picture is from Cespedes’ arrival in Miami yesterday, as snapped by Marlins’ beat writer Juan C. Rodriguez. One thing is for sure: the dude clearly has swagger.)

  • Chibs

    Visually, he reminds of Manny Ramirez…because he looks like he’s 40, not because he looks like he can mash. It’s just Manny being Manny really.

  • die hard

    no surprise but he just lowered price Marlins will have to pay per yr…maybe hes looking for long term with no trade as security rather than break the bank cash…

  • Ajbearsfsn

    Well isn’t this just frustrating! But here’s the thing cespedes hasn’t seen much baseball since march. His numbers in the DR were good but who is to say that they could equate to good MLB numbers. And we don’t know for sure how old this guy is. I have a feeling this guy would start in the minors for an adjustment period and quit frankly I think he’ll be a bust like fukedome or he sop choi! So with that I think it’s better some other team craps out on this guy than us! So hopefully soler comes to us and the emporer doesn’t plunder our roster for Boston and san Diego. There is always hope

  • Leroy Kleimola

    Of course he’s going to say that. It’s not like he’s going to say in Miami, “Well thanks for the visit, but my heart is set on the Cubs.” It is just one of those public relations things.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Like I said, gamesmanship and all that, but let’s be fair – there’s a huge chasm of possibilities between “hopefully I play for the Marlins” and “my heart is set on the Cubs.”

      Like, for example, “I’m very excited to be in Miami today, and we’ll see what happens.”

      • mike foster

        Wouldn’t you think if you’re his agent you might have prepared him for this OBVIOUS question? So what does that tell you? Poor agent? Or poor listening skills from Cespedes? Or Cespedes doesn’t get the reason for couching his reply?

    • bluekoolaidaholic

      I think Brett is right and it’s gamesmanship. He is just trying to make the bidding go higher and keep all the players in the mix. He wants Miami and Chicago (both ends of town) and Baltimore etc.all bidding against each other.
      Saying Miami would be nice makes all the bidders try to be nicer with their checkbooks.
      “One thing is for sure: the dude clearly has swagger.”
      Personally, he reminds me of another guy with that swagger too much, one that used a corked bat and juiced up.
      IMHO, before he gets this kind of money, he should at least show us that he can hit a major league slider or splitter, not just college level straight fast balls.

  • falselife

    He fits Miami perfectly. All style, little substance. I still don’t get the love for him. The money he is commanding could be allocated towards proven commodities. Everything I have seen supports that he is selfish, a braggart and a guy that will never sacrifice what it takes to make it at the MLB level. Good for him, and good for Miami. They were made for each other.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I guess I just don’t know how anyone can know those things about him.

      • falselife

        I’m just basing my opinion on what little I have seen of the fellow. The guy is a tool, hell, look at his picture. Hey, I’m coming off a freaking plane into an airport…better put the shades on – why pay $400 for them if I’m not going to wear them inside? Vain people don’t strive to be better, they strive to appear better. And while I could be wrong, I would bet a considerable amount of money that this guy doesn’t amount to anything but heartache. Anyone, and I repeat, ANYONE that wants to live in Miami doesn’t have a soul – it’s that simple.

        • Bric

          Bro, what if your assertions of his character are correct. So what. Maybe he feels more comfortable in a city where all of the signs are in both English and Sanish, the climate’s a lot closer to his own, the manager speaks Spanish, and it’s a lot closer to his home.

          If I was a huge soccer athlete going to play in some city in Europe I wouldn’t give a crap about all the struggles of Real Madrid or the big rivalry between West Ham and Man U (those analogies are made up- I don’t know anything about European Soccer, and that’s the point.) I’d go to the coolest, closest city similar to my own where they’ll pay me a ton of money. I don’t know anything about this guy, but’s what I’d do. It’s baseball, not rocket science.

          • falselife

            I definitely agree being closer to a cluster of his heritage is likely a huge factor for him. No argument there.

    • Tom

      I tend to agree…his attitude is questionable. All I needed to see was him standing at the plate and admiring his home run. It he is like that now, what will he be if he makes it to the majors.

  • Bren

    I can shake the feeling that this guy will be no more than a Willy Mo Pena, no big loss as far as I’m concerned.

    • BetterNews

      Pena will be missed!

      • BetterNews

        I don’t think how bad people realize 1st base will be.

  • Shawn

    I don’t know anything about the guy’s personality or what kind of person he is, but I do have question about his ability. I won’t be too disappointed if he signs with the Marlins as I don’t think he is quite the prospect he has been hyped to be. And, that is entirely too much money to commit to a player who has not seen one pitch in the Majors. I am far more interested in Soler at this point.

  • Deer

    he looks a little heavy to play a good defensive CF. No way he’s a base stealer either. “More athletic Marlon Byrd”? Pass on anything over 6yrs/$35M.

  • steve

    Deer is spot on. Let him have his sound bites, and media attention. Offer him 6 yrs 35 million and be prepared to walk if he says not enough.

  • NL_Cubs

    Let the Marlins have him and let them kick the tires on his abilities for $50-60M. They’ll likely be having a fire sale within 2-3 years once the revenues aren’t meeting payroll and expectations.

  • ogyu

    Relax, the FO has their eyes on a new Cuban defector who’s much better: Youwantus Canthavus.

    • Frank

      Sounds like Canthavus is actually a defector from ancient Rome . . . I’d check his birth certificate before signing him.

      • ogyu

        Some of his ancestors were Spaniards descended from ancient Romans in Spain. It’s really a fascinating history…

  • rbreeze

    In some films I thought he resembled Sammy Sosa.  The picture above looks like a shot at the airport and he looks like a mix of Sosa and Aramis Ramirez but a chunky one at that.

  • Joe N

    Regardless of what Cespedes says, the way that I took what Samson said was something like this, ” Hey, look at us, we’re the Marlins and we’re doing everything we can (within reason) to win, unless it costs beyond a certain amount of cash… and nobody will ever know if we bid $20,000,000 up to a couple of million less than what he was offered from the eventual winner. Now come become a season ticket holder and come to our games”.

    It just seems like he’s just trying to sell the public that the Marlins are ( God, I hate this phrase… gotta be from the Sox last year… ) ALL IN.

    I could easily be wrong, but you’ve gotta remember, we don’t know how well Cespedes speaks English, so he may have just been trying to say something like “I’m glad to be here.. blah blah blah”

  • Larry Bittner

    I don’t know if the guy is overflowing with the new “Cub Way”. Forgive me for leaping here, but he carries himself like a tool…can you see him as a leader in the clubhouse???

    • Brady

      Nobody says that he has to be a leader in the clubhouse. If you have a dugout full of leaders you tend to not have very good cohesion. Some are leaders and others are followers. If this guy wants to follow but plays well I could care less.

  • TeddyBallGame

    He can easily pass for being in his 30’s, so with that being said, are any teams going to require he shows a legit birth certificate to prove his age?? Who knows what these guys can get away with and after this whole Fausto Carmona Heredia fiasco, it’d be reassuring to know if the Cubs do indeed go up to 6 years with this guy. And is it just me or does it looks like Cespedes has a few extra pounds?? If he wants to be in Miami that bad, see ya…at this point I’d just consider saving the $$ on Cespedes and lock up Garza long-term if no deals become more attractive by Spring Training…

    • Brady

      Cuba has very good birth records and scouts have been looking at him since about 2 years ago. The DR is the most notorious for those kinds of things so I say we have very little to worry about. He will need some adjustment but I see him mashing the ball. Now I want him here rather than Miami who I don’t see living in the lime light for the next 6 years.

  • DocWimsey

    Man, I would LOVE to play poker with some people here…..

  • rbreeze

    I don’t like the look in his eyes.  Now maybe he slept all the way from the DR to Miami and just woke up after arriving.  But his eyes look lazy to me.

    • ogyu

      Umm, he’s wearing shades and you can’t even see his eyes.

  • Deer

    He looks heavy for a guy who should be in the best shape of his life and should have been working out for months ahead of a ML deal. Introduce him to american fast food, post-game buffets and clubs and he may become benji molina.

    • ogyu

      I just took another look at the infamous youtube video and he does look a lot plumper in the photo here than he did when he was doing those box jumps, etc. Still, the FO gets to see him up close, so they will know if he’s out of shape or otherwise not taking things sufficiently seriously.

  • mysterious4th

    Is it too terrible to hope he signs with miami and he fails big time just to see them be so open and throw (what reports seem to think hell get) 60 million at him and another team is stuck with a soriano contract, id also throw in crawford (I think he will bounc back but not for the price they paid) or dunn (who I think is never going to go back to the power he had before….no AL/NL switch bull$ht) I also think (I’m wrong more then right) the other 2 cuban prospects are worth the risk since they are younger and can learn and grow with their skills and MLB itself. Unlike a 26/27 year old (that’s gettin the attention and hype-yes its just hype)who is more likely to not develop with the majors because he’s more set in his was then the abilty to evolve.

    With that being said can we PLEASE get some spring training goin already? This is the worst time of year for me and sports. Oh yeah Boston deserves nothing, they risked losing him when they granted permission for the Cubs to interview him. It would be different if he had more than 1 year remaining on his contract and he was hired in the same position. But 1 year left and a promotion? Come on now. They had Cherrington ready to go hence why they granted the Cubs front office to interview (and steal a great baseball and business minded

    • mysterious4th

      man from them) so boston how bout we buy you a beer and a shot of whatever you like-even top shelf- and call it a day, you’re starting to sound like the yankees!

      –it didn’t submit it all so I have my own reply to my own question.

      • Brady

        How is 6/60 on Cespedes a Soriano contract? 10 mil a year is about 2 WAR. Even if he plays solid defense (which he is supposed to) and bats just meh he will make his worth. 6/60 is much more viable and easy to get rid of if you want to than 8/136.

  • Alphonse

    A minor league prospect and the Cubs have signed one pitcher after another, so they certainly were not waiting for him.

  • ThereWillBeCubs

    Holy shit, this guy is getting crucified for a single photo. I get not wanting to risk so much money for unproven talent, but geez… some of you guys are making a shit load of assumptions about his character based on next to nothing.

    This dude is getting paid to play baseball, not be your bff. I think it’s pretty safe to say that Theo/Hoyer/McLeod won’t sign this guy unless he fits the model.

  • curt

    wow seriously folks lighten up , i think you should wait to get mad or dissapointed or railing on the guy until he makes his choice, sounds like to me that most of you are just preparing yrselves for the let down and that might well happen but on the other hand it might not, how bout this try reserving judgement on the guy till you actually know something hmmm. youll be the same ones when he does sign with cubs that will say hes great the next clemente how great he is, just wait till he signs ok.

  • Elwood

    Ok, I heard on MLB/XM radio yesterday that Cespedes is being compared to Sammy Sosa in terms of tools. Ok, are they talking about a juiced up Sosa, or the 20-25 HR Sosa that was a sucker for the outside slider/curve in the dirt. If it’s the latter, I’ll pass.

    Also, “swagger”-in my opinion-shows to me that Cespedes thinks he’s a star. While I hope that is just confidence, I can’t help but think it is more cockiness and hype. If he signs with the Cubs, I hope I’m wrong.

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