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Yoenis Cespedes establishes residency in Dominican Republic, already a free agent?

Jan 24, 2012, 8:57 PM EDT

Yoenis Cespedes AP AP

UPDATE: That was fast. Dionisio Soldevila of the Associated Press was told by Cespedes’ representative, Edgar Mercedes, that not only has the Cuban outfielder established residency in the Dominican Republic, he has also officially been granted free agency by MLB. In fact, Cespedes stopped playing in the Dominican Winter League playoffs at the urging of MLB teams.

We haven’t heard any clarification from MLB on the matter, so it’s possible Mercedes may have jumped the gun, but it’s safe to say things are about to heat up.

6:26 PM: While the Prince Fielder sweepstakes has finally reached a resolution, the bidding for Yoenis Cespedes is just about to begin.

Cespedes’ representative, Edgar Mercedes, told Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com that the Cuban outfielder has finally established residency in the Dominican Republic. He is now waiting on approval from MLB to become a free agent.

Cespedes recently told Dionisio Soldevila of the Associated Press that the Cubs, Marlins, White Sox, Orioles, Tigers and Indians have shown the most interest in him. However, it’s possible the Tigers will be less willing to pony up after agreeing to a nine-year, $214 million contract with Fielder earlier today. Still, most expect the 26-year-old outfielder will end up with a contract richer than the $30.25 million deal Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman signed with the Reds two years ago.

Cespedes, 26, recently went 5-for-35 (.143) with one home run and a 10/0 K/BB ratio during a stint with Aguilas Cibaenas in the Dominican Winter League playoffs. While it’s unlikely the poor performance will have a significant impact on his asking price, it wouldn’t be surprising if he needs some seasoning in the minor leagues.

  1. marshmallowsnake - Jan 24, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    But can he hit a curve ball?

    • hep3 - Jan 24, 2012 at 7:36 PM

      About like Pedro Cerrano. “The bats, they are very afraid of the curveball.”

      • bobwsc - Jan 25, 2012 at 11:09 AM

        “yo bartender, JoBu needs a refill!”

  2. muckthefets23 - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    There is NO way this guy is falsifying his identity.

  3. whittle79 - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    This kid will hit 20 hrs am a avg of .220
    Have fun Florida !!

  4. dondada10 - Jan 25, 2012 at 7:41 AM

    Best case scenario: he’s Raul Mondesi,part 2.

    • rambodiaz - Jan 25, 2012 at 7:58 AM

      Raul Mondesi, part 1 wasn’t bad for the first few years of his career. If whoever signs Cespedes gets production like Mondesi gave during his age 26-30 seasons, then you’d have to think they’d be okay.

  5. cmutimmah - Jan 25, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    I assume EVERY player is their announced age +3-5 years.

    I might send my unborn kid to the Dominican just to give him 3-5 more years of seasoning for the majors. Hey, why is that very white kid named Juan Rodrigo Velasquez?

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