When he hit is peak six years ago, and when he was able to play, Yoenis Cespedes was a star. The guy paired massive thump with good contact rates, took his walks, and played solid defense in the outfield. From 2014-16, Cespedes posted a .277/.326/.506 line with a 126 wRC+ and was worth 13.0 WAR.
Then the injuries came (and surgeries and wild boar), and he played just 127 games total over the next four seasons. What Cespedes can offer now is a very open question.
But he is trying to answer that question for teams, and the Chicago Cubs were among the teams to check out his showcase today:
— Ken Davidoff (@KenDavidoff) March 2, 2021
Davidoff’s report indicates that Yoenis Cespedes still looked physically impressive at the showcase, and his past success will probably be enough to let teams dream on the upside. Though you always wonder how much can really shine through in BP and outfield drills. The Reds and Brewers are also among the teams in attendance.
He was still hitting even while he was dealing with the injuries (well, while he was on the field), so again, not so hard to dream:
Without a DH in the National League, it’s hard to see Cespedes finding ample at bats on an NL club, even one as potentially thin in the outfield as the Cubs. Since Cespedes may have to settle for a minor league deal or an extremely modest big league deal in order to prove himself, you’d think he’d be targeting a club where he’d have the best chance at regular starts. With the Cubs, that won’t come in the outfield without an injury.
… of course, if we knew the DH was coming, then the Cubs actually WOULD be an exceptionally good fit for offering up a chance at regular at bats. The Cubs really don’t have a strong or obvious DH candidate in-house. Instead, like last year, they’d just be rotating in guys on the bench. It’s not the worst approach in the world, especially as it allows you to get your regulars partial rest. But man, it’s hard not to pine for a thumper in the spot. And a really entertaining one at that!
Maybe the Cubs could convince Yoenis Cespedes of that strong fit in a DH world, and the strong chance that there is a player-owner change-of-heart late in the spring? That’d be a fun spring signing …