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Marlins planning aggressive pursuit of Yoenis Cespedes

Jan 12, 2012, 7:04 PM EDT

cespedes getty Getty Images

The Yankees, Phillies, Cubs, Nationals, Tigers and White Sox have all made it known that they plan to pursue Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes once he becomes eligible for major league free agency.

But those clubs may have to contend with a Miami front office that is willing to spend wildly.

According to Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Marlins president David Samson told 790 The Ticket on Thursday that his team is planning an “aggressive” pursuit of Cespedes when he hits the open market later this month. Here’s the full quote:

“Aggressive right to the point of stupidity, but not quite there,” said Samson. “We think he’s a perfect fit for us, but it has to be sane. [We’ve been] expressing interest, going to visit, making it very clear to his representatives and to him and his family that we think he should not be anywhere other than Miami. As a Cuban and someone in the DR, it makes perfect sense. We have a perfect position for him to play. It would be great.”

Cespedes, 26, batted .333/.424/.667 with 33 home runs and 99 RBI in 90 games last season in Cuba. With so many teams fawning over him, it’s possible that he lands a contract in the $50-60 million range.

  1. tn16 - Jan 12, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    He is going to be caught with roids or HGH before he’s career is over
    But who knows how the day before that will go

  2. kingjoe1 - Jan 12, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    Don’t accuse a guy of cheating without any facts, that is unfair.

  3. brewcitybummer - Jan 12, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    Ever play poker with with some half-wit clown who thinks hes really smart and likes to tell you his hand and thinks he can bully you at the table? That’s was this sounds like. They’re just inviting teams to drive up the price on them.

    • brewcitybummer - Jan 12, 2012 at 7:46 PM

      I know Samson is saying this is not the case but to me this is a good example of the “If you have to say it, its not true rule.”

    • dan1111 - Jan 13, 2012 at 5:40 AM

      Will anyone really think, “David Samson said he was going to bid aggressively, so let’s offer a lot more than we really want to pay”? A team that acted in this way could get burned–and could easily be manipulated into getting burned. I doubt comments like this really make a difference.

      On the other hand, there are benefits to Samson saying this. He gets good publicity for the team now; appearing to pursue Cespedes aggressively may mitigate the damage later if they fail to sign him; and he may create good will with Cespedes himself.

  4. andyreidisfat - Jan 12, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    So the marlins are going a bit over board with this sign any and all Latin players thing. Baseball fans don’t give a damn what race the players are, only if they win or not.

    The marlins could be real trouble for the phills next year if they sign fielder, but, no they choose the unproven Latin kid who will probably get only slightly less than what fielder gets before he takes a swing.

    I keep hearing the phills are going to make an offer too but I am hoping they are just driving up the cost

    • dan1111 - Jan 13, 2012 at 5:48 AM

      The Cuban community in Miami may very well identify with a Cuban player. This sort of thing often matters more to smaller groups that identify themselves by nationality or ethnicity. Americans probably wouldn’t care that much if an American made it big in European Soccer, but think of all the Japanese reporters that follow Ichiro around.

      Sure, Cespedes is unproven, but there are risks to signing Fielder as well. And Cespedes will be much cheaper.

  5. Jonny 5 - Jan 12, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    Nobody knows how he’s going to turn out, but here’s a good job of trying to figure it out.

    And then there’s the size of that park in Miami where a higher avg. would help.

  6. Old Gator - Jan 12, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    I would really much rather see the Feesh move the Hanster to the outfield to replace Tweeter and use Tweeter, who seems much sought after by other teams, as trade bait for a real two-or-three in the rotation starter or a real third baseman. Whoever the left fielder is this season is going to spend a lot of time chasing the balls that get past the Hanster down the line, and Tweeter’s ability to get to those balls and hold runners with his speed or throwing accuracy inspires no confidence in a Feesh fan and no particular anxiety in an opposing baserunner.

    • paperlions - Jan 12, 2012 at 9:51 PM

      Yeah, playing a first baseman in the OF usually doesn’t work out well….I mean, it isn’t like teams regularly move guys to easier defensive positions if they can handle more demanding ones….there was a reason that Morrison played 1B….because he can’t play the OF….or anywhere else.

      • Old Gator - Jan 12, 2012 at 10:14 PM

        No fecal bolus, Holmes. I will tell you what all else the Feesh are pursuing this orfseason – teecket buyers. Mind you I have never had season tickets at Joeprodolsharklife Stadium, and yet somehow the Chihuahua got me on his mailing list. I get phone calls, emails and snail mail exhorting me to buy one of the fine ticket packages being offered at Macondo Banana Massacre Stadium. Lots of phone calls, emails and snail mails. I keep getting invited to – are you sitting down for this? – VIP luncheons for privileged seat selection. Me. VIP. Gimme a break. Even my dogs will mark me if I fall asleep in a corner.

  7. randygnyc - Jan 13, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    Old gator is 100% correct. They’re only going after this kid so aggressively because he’s Cuban. At 10 million a year and no US pro experience, they wouldn’t look twice at a similar white/black kid with similar stats/projections.

    • Old Gator - Jan 13, 2012 at 7:41 AM

      In the immortal words of Bugs Bunny, how twoo, how twoo. But here’s the rub, and remarkably, Scrooge McLoria and the Chihuahua still somehow haven’t figured this out. The Cuban community in Miami has changed a lot. The nostalgia driven “take back Cuba” dinosaurs of the first immigration waves have largely died off or carried their fanaticism with them far enough into old age so that it’s largely indistinguishable from the paranoid outbursts of dementia (not that it wasn’t always; it just wears differently now). Their descendants went over 40% for Obama in the last election, don’t buy as mindlessly into exile dinosaur politics as their parents and grandparents, and think of themselves more and more as Americans as opposed to exiles per se – though of course the press continues to refer to them all, with the modern journalist’s indefatigable stupidity and disregard for accuracy, as the “Cuban Exile Community.” Though they remain the largest single ethnic bloc in the Macondo Latino community, their percentage of that community has been reduced substantially by waves of Nicaraguans, Hondurans, Argentinos and, most recently, Venezuelans (who sympathize with Cubans for obvious reasons but don’t like their unsolicited big-brotherly condescension or claims to have suffered more acutely very much). And the empathy factor will be missing in other ways too: this isn’t a guy who floated up on South Beach in a truck tire, whose parents worked their asses off in diner kitchens and plumbing warehouses to put him through college – the rightfully prideful profile of so many exile families (those older Cuban families who got out with a lot of investment money or property in the States to make them rich from the git-go couldn’t give a flying crap about all this anyway). This guy dropped right into a well-publicized, cushily marketed professional career and had agents and promoters throwing money at him from the day he left Cuba. In other words, if this Cespedes doesn’t play like a superstar on his own terms, he’ll be just another Cuban ballplayer, and that in and of itself won’t be enough to bring his hermanos to the stadium.

  8. - Jan 13, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    Is it too early to coin the term: “How Marlins of them”? Of course they’re going after this guy.

    • Old Gator - Jan 13, 2012 at 3:36 PM

      It’s too early. Wait for the novelty to wear off and then prepare your spaghetti for the wall.

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