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Yoenis Cespedes could be declared a free agent as soon as next week

Dec 3, 2011, 9:55 AM EDT

Yoenis Cespedes AP AP

Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has drawn interest from well over a dozen MLB teams, but he is not yet eligible to sign with anyone. That could change as soon as next week.

Ken Rosenthal of was told by a source that while the time frame is “difficult to say,” Cespedes will be declared a free agent by the “latter half (of winter meetings) or after.”

Cespedes, 26, needs to establish temporary residency in the Dominican Republic in order to become a free agent. The competition for him figures to be pretty fierce, as Jerry Crasnick of reported yesterday that “the buzz in baseball circles is that it will take north of $50 million to sign” him.

UPDATE: Rosenthal’s colleague Jon Paul Morosi was told by an executive “familiar with the international market” that the Yankees, Tigers and Marlins have shown the most interest in Cespedes.

  1. Tribe&Browns&Cavs - Dec 3, 2011 at 10:06 AM

    “The buzz in baseball circles is that it will take north of $50 million to sign” him.

    That doesn’t really mean anything without a number of years attached to it.

    • paperlions - Dec 3, 2011 at 10:52 AM

      Teams will have 6 years of control (as that is the amount of MLB service time required to become a FA), unless the contract stipulates otherwise.

    • kingjoe1 - Dec 4, 2011 at 1:40 PM

      The years make no difference. 50 million dollars will be spent to find out if this kid can play at a major league level. Thats a whole mess of cash to get a look see. He is a stud, he’ll get a long term extension during the initial deal anyway.

  2. paul621 - Dec 3, 2011 at 10:55 AM

    “By the latter half of the meetings or after”? So basically, he could sign before the latter half of the meetings. Or he could sign after. Big news.

  3. andyreidisfat - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    I think 50 over 5-6 years is worth a shot. I would love for the phillies to take a shot at this kid. By the by isn’t it time we stop not letting great talent come play here because of where they are from

  4. papacrick - Dec 3, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    This guy is coming to Detroit. Tigers have been scouting him hard and I believe they will make the first offer. However, Detroit has a surplus of outfielders so they must be planning on trading Delmon Young or Ryan Raburn for second base help.

  5. paperlions - Dec 3, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    All the people that are dubious about Pujols’ claims of being 31…..almost every MLB team thinks this guy is older than 26…it is Cuba, there is pretty much no way to investigate or confirm how old he is…if he is admitting to 26, he is almost certainly older….just something to keep in mind.

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