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.)