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Let the bidding begin: Yoenis Cespedes is finally a free agent

Jan 25, 2012, 4:46 PM EDT

cespedes getty Getty Images

After months of reports about Yoenis Cespedes being on the verge of free agency MLB has finally announced that the 26-year-old outfielder who defected from Cuba last summer is cleared to negotiate with teams.

Cespedes established residency in the Dominican Republic and then surprised many people by participating in the Dominican winter league, but stopped playing following a rough 10-game stretch in which he hit .143.

Initially there was plenty of speculation about Cespedes getting as much as $50 million, but those rumors seem to have died down. However, according to Jesse Sanchez of “he’s expected to command a contract greater than” the $30.5 million deal Aroldis Chapman got from the Reds after defecting from Cuba in 2009.

Cespedes said previously that the Marlins, Cubs, White Sox, Orioles, Tigers, and Indians have shown the most interest, but reports vary on whether he views playing in Miami as a positive or a negative.

As for what type of player Cespedes is capable of being, projections based off his Cuban numbers show a good but not great hitter with 25-homer power and poor strike-zone control.

  1. risk529 - Jan 25, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    As I Tigers fan this may be the only imediate drawback to siging Feilder, unless Illich has just decided that money annoying and should be given away, I cant see him shelling out 40-60 mill the day after handing out one of the richest baseball contracts ever

  2. mojosmagic - Jan 25, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    Buyer beware he’s 26 in Cuban years and can’t hit a ML curve.

    • RedHeadedBastard - Jan 25, 2012 at 4:57 PM

      Don’t worry, Jobu will help him to hit the curveball.

      • b7p19 - Jan 25, 2012 at 5:42 PM

        Are you saying Jesus Christ can’t hit a curve ball?

  3. rollinghighwayblues - Jan 25, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Why do I feel like he doesn’t catch that fly ball?

  4. Detroit Michael - Jan 25, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    I wonder how much his Dominican Winter League performance will hurt him. He doesn’t appear MLB ready instantly.

  5. trevorb06 - Jan 25, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    After that showing in winter ball I think we may have found our Wily Mo replacement X 100 million more dollars..

  6. nattyboh - Jan 25, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    Peter Angelos bids $1 on behalf of the Baltimore Orioles.

  7. yankeesgameday - Jan 25, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    I’ll give him gas money from LAX and $20 to bat clean up in my Saturday afternoon pick up softball game. None of you will beat that offer.

    • b7p19 - Jan 25, 2012 at 5:44 PM

      You’re right, I can’t beat that. He simply isn’t good enough to hit cleanup on my softball team.

      • cur68 - Jan 26, 2012 at 1:33 AM

        He’d rake on mine.

  8. Old Gator - Jan 25, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    I only fear that Scrooge McLoria and the Chihuahua are determined to be as dumb as Mike Ilitch.

    • hockinj25 - Jan 25, 2012 at 7:14 PM

      did you just say mike Ilitch is dumb?

      • Old Gator - Jan 25, 2012 at 7:22 PM

        For that Fielder contract, yeah.

  9. dwrek5 - Jan 25, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    $602 Bob

  10. grantlee11 - Jan 25, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    So he’s basically Alfonso Soriano jr? No thanks

  11. dblj1199 - Jan 25, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    Does anyone know what would stop a top young prospect like Bryce Harper from moving to a country in south America and going to the highest bidder? What would stop Harper from getting citizenship in the Domenican and having a bidding war with NYY, Boston, LA or going to any team he chooses. Are there rules against that? Just wondering.

    • Old Gator - Jan 25, 2012 at 9:53 PM

      I don’t know about Latin America, but I know he could do it in Somalia….

  12. scoregasmic - Jan 26, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    @oldgator- u realize illich basically built the red wings empire and brought the tigers back…and owns little caesars and like 50 other successful things…so I’m not seeing his stupidity but okay

    • Old Gator - Jan 26, 2012 at 8:02 AM

      You’re not looking at this insane contract he just gave that tub of lard. Give it a few years. You’ll see it. Even smart people do stupid things once in a while. This was one of them.

  13. scoregasmic - Jan 26, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    I will see…all those world series rings, I love how everyone all of the sudden is like Prince sucks! Just cause ur team didn’t get him. That tub of lard destroys opposing pitchers. He’s way better than pujols and he’s only like 27, and too everyone who thinks cabrera can’t play third base…he won a world series at third with the marlins, illich is a genius and the tigers are about to kill it, world series this year, super bowl next year, Detroit is about to be rockin, u know…other than the pistons

  14. sfm073 - Jan 26, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    Better than pujols hahaha I watches those two play a lot the last several years and prince can’t hold pujols’s jockstrap. Yeah Cabrera played third 50lbs ago. The defense will cost Detroit in the playoffs.

  15. scoregasmic - Jan 27, 2012 at 8:56 AM

    Pujols is past his prime…and in my opinion overrated. Prince hasn’t even reached his prime, and the tigers don’t need cabby to win a golden glove, he can play the hot corner, he’s actually got range…idk if you have watched enough tigers games but cabby made a lot of good defensive plays, he’ll be fine quit hating, prince could be the worst fielding 1st basemen in the history of the world but who the heck cares, would you enjoy pitching to the 2-3-4-5-6 combo of boesch, Cabrera, prince, young, and Avila? Then add in victor next year and that’s 8 hitters of hell. Then add in the pitching verlander is basically automatic wins, fister is fantastic, porcello is good, scherzer is good, the bullpen is fantastic, and valverdre is money. Game over AL game over

  16. gallaghedj311 - Jan 28, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Albert > Prince. Everyday.

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