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  1. The Oakland A’s in 2014

    Feb 13, 2012, 6:32 PM EST

    Billy Beane

    Though they’ve since made moves geared more for the short-term in re-signing Coco Crisp and trading for Seth Smith, the A’s pretty much gave up on 2012 when they shipped out pitchers Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill and Andrew Bailey for youngsters. That’s still true even after they anted up $36 million for Yoenis Cespedes. Their eyes are…

  2. A’s could strike gold with Yoenis Cespedes

    Feb 13, 2012, 1:59 PM EST

    Yoennis Cespedes

    The A’s finally pulled off their big international signing. Oakland wanted Aroldis Chapman two years ago, but came up short when the Reds bid $30 million for six years. Last winter, they were willing to commit $36 million to bring Hisashi Iwakuma over from Japan, but since $19.1 million of that was in the form…

  3. Yoenis Cespedes signs with the Oakland Athletics

    Feb 13, 2012, 12:22 PM EST

    cespedes

    We weren’t expecting this:  Tim Brown of Yahoo! reports that Yoenis Cespedes is on the verge of signing with the Oakland Athletics.  Susan Slusser added that the deal will be for four years, $36 million. That’s a bit lower than anyone thought he’d get.  Is it possible that his short, lackluster stint in winter ball hurt…

  4. Orioles considered darkhorse for Yoenis Cespedes

    Feb 12, 2012, 11:23 AM EST

    yoenis cespedes getty

    From Nick Cafardo’s Sunday notes column in the Boston Globe, a must-read every weekend: Yoenis Cespedes, CF, free agent – There was a lot of talk late in the week that the Orioles were the sleeper team for him. The Marlins, Tigers, and Cubs are also interested, but the Orioles are very aggressive in their…

  5. UPDATE: Marlins offered Yoenis Cespedes less than $40 million

    Feb 11, 2012, 4:02 PM EST

    cespedes-getty

    UPDATE: Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald is hearing that the Marlins offered Cespedes less than the $40 million sum being reported by Reynoso. 3:15 PM: Marlins’ president David Samson told Jayson Stark of ESPN.com on Tuesday night that the club was considering making an offer to Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes during their meeting in…

  6. The Marlins may make an offer to Yoenis Cespedes today

    Feb 8, 2012, 10:30 AM EST

    cespedes

    The Miami Marlins’ desire to land Yoenis Cespedes is no secret. They’ve been talking about it forever. They have been way out front in saying how much they want to push hard to market the team to the Latino community.  And to that end, Jayson Stark reports that the Marlins may very well make an offer…

  7. Picture of the Day: Yoenis Cespedes arrives in Miami

    Feb 7, 2012, 5:37 PM EST

    yoenis cespedes airport

    Yoenis Cespedes got a visitor’s visa, left the Dominican Republic, and headed to Miami to meet with the Marlins. And Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel was waiting for him at the airport: If nothing else he certainly dresses like a major leaguer.

  8. Yoenis Cespedes granted visitor’s visa, meets with Marlins

    Feb 7, 2012, 3:15 PM EST

    cespedes-getty

    Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes, who was finally declared a free agent by MLB two weeks ago, has been granted a visitor’s visa and is in Miami meeting with the Marlins. Marlins president David Samson said recently that they hoped to give Cespedes a tour of the new ballpark in Miami, but Jayson Stark of ESPN.com…

  9. Giants think Yoenis Cespedes will cost more than he’s worth

    Feb 4, 2012, 7:14 PM EST

    cespedes

    Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports was hearing rumblings in mid-November that the Giants would be one of nine major league teams in the running for Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes. But we can now scratch San Francisco off the list of potential landing spots for the much-hyped 26-year-old outfielder. Giants GM Brian Sabean told Hank Schulman…

  10. Cubs sign Cuban left-hander Gerardo Concepcion

    Feb 2, 2012, 7:16 PM EST

    concepcion_742562375

    From reporter Jorge Ebro of Miami’s El Nuevo Herald comes word that Cuban left-hander Gerardo Concepcion agreed to a “multimillion dollar” contract on Thursday evening with the Chicago Cubs. Concepcion was named the Rookie of the Year in Cuba’s Serie Nacional for 2010-2011 after posting a solid 10-3 record, 3.36 ERA and 53/43 K/BB ratio across…

  11. The Official 2012 BSOHL Roster

    Feb 2, 2012, 11:30 AM EST

    Atlas

    Reader Kopy has been doing the Lord’s work: he’s been keeping track of all of the Best Shape of His Life guys as we post them.  Seriously, dudes: news you can use. Kopy has periodically updated them in the comments of BSOHL stories, but I figure it’s worth putting them in a post.  So, here…

  12. Blue Jays not expected to pursue Yoenis Cespedes

    Feb 1, 2012, 7:10 PM EST

    yoenis cespedes getty

    The news comes as no surprise, but we’ll pass it along anyway on this slow Wednesday evening. A scout told the Toronto Sun‘s Bob Elliot earlier today that the Blue Jays “will not be players” for 26-year-old Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes was granted major league free agency last week and is planning to travel from…

  13. Marlins sell out first game at new stadium — sort of

    Jan 31, 2012, 12:10 AM EST

    marlinsballpark-120130.standard[1]

    The Miami Marlins have figured out a way to erase the embarrassment of poor attendance figures: Make fewer tickets available. Brilliant! The Marlins have announced a sellout for their first game at their new ballpark, a contest against the University of Miami on March 6, reports the Miami Herald. Of course calling it a sellout…

  14. Yoenis Cespedes expected to travel to United States within 7-10 days

    Jan 30, 2012, 8:30 PM EST

    cespedes-getty

    Yoenis Cespedes‘ agent Adam Katz has been a pretty popular guy since the Cuban outfielder was granted free agency by MLB last Wednesday. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, Katz said the market for the 26-year-old has been “meaningful and aggressive” and that he expects his client will be in spring training with an MLB…

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

    Jan 25, 2012, 4:46 PM EST

    cespedes getty

    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…

  16. Marlins “expected to make strong push” for Yoenis Cespedes

    Jan 25, 2012, 11:51 AM EST

    Yoenis Cespedes AP

    Now that Yoenis Cespedes has established residency in the Dominican Republic his long-awaited free agency should be right around the corner and Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports that the Marlins “are expected to make a strong push” for the Cuban defector. They’ll have plenty of competition, although Cespedes’ poor showing in the Dominican winter league…

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

    Jan 24, 2012, 8:57 PM EST

    Yoenis Cespedes 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…

  18. Cuban defector Gerardo Concepcion works out for Rangers

    Jan 24, 2012, 10:47 AM EST

    Gerardo Concepcion

    Gerardo Concepcion, the 18-year-old pitcher who established residency in the Dominican Republic to become a free agent after defecting from Cuba, worked out for the Rangers yesterday. Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that team president Nolan Ryan was part of the Rangers group on hand to watch Concepcion in the Dominican Republic, adding that “the…

  19. Yu Darvish’s father is not a fan of the posting system

    Jan 21, 2012, 1:18 PM EST

    Texas Rangers Introduce Yu Darvish

    After securing exclusive negotiating rights for Yu Darvish with a record $51,703,411 posting fee last month, the Rangers signed the 25-year-old right-hander to a six-year contract this week which guarantees him $56 million. While everyone appears to be pleased with the outcome, Yu’s father, Farsad Darvish, told Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com following the press conference last…

  20. Rangers’ co-owner would rather keep Josh Hamilton than sign Prince Fielder

    Jan 21, 2012, 10:59 AM EST

    josh hamilton getty

    Now that Yu Darvish is officially in the fold as a member of the Texas Rangers, much of the attention will shift to whether the club should also sign Prince Fielder. The Rangers will soon have plenty of money coming in thanks to their new television contract, but the reality is that they might not…

  21. Picture of the Day: Yu Darvish, Texas Ranger

    Jan 20, 2012, 9:31 PM EST

    Texas Rangers Introduce Yu Darvish

    Yu Darvish was officially introduced as a member of the Texas Rangers during a press conference earlier this evening in the “Hall of Fame room” at the Ballpark in Arlington. According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, an estimated 200 members of the Japanese media were on hand for the occasion. Below is a picture of…

  22. Norichika Aoki took a big pay cut to leave Japan for Brewers

    Jan 20, 2012, 10:47 AM EST

    Aoki

    For most Japanese players coming to America the amount a team bids to secure their exclusive negotiating rights through the posting process ends up being similar to the amount they sign for during the 30-day window. For instance, the Rangers bid $51.7 million for Yu Darvish and then signed him to a six-year, $60 million…

  23. Details of Yu Darvish’s contract with the Rangers

    Jan 20, 2012, 9:00 AM EST

    Yu Darvish Getty

    Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has the year-by-year breakdown of Yu Darvish‘s contract with the Rangers: 2012: $5.5 million 2013: $9.5 million 2014: $10 million 2015: $10 million 2016: $10 million 2017: $11 million The deal was initially reported as a six-year, $60 million contract, but it turns out that $56 million is…

  24. Yoenis Cespedes hit a home run in the Dominican Winter League last night

    Jan 19, 2012, 8:52 AM EST

    Yoenis Cespedes AP

    Yoenis Cespedes‘ early struggles in the Dominican Winter League playoffs have been well documented, but he finally caught up with one last night. The 26-year-old outfielder turned on a 97 mph fastball from Astros’ Rule 5 pick right-hander Rhiner Cruz for a long home run over the left field fence. Below is the video footage,…

  25. Rangers GM says signing Prince Fielder is “very unlikely”

    Jan 18, 2012, 9:56 PM EST

    fielder getty brewers

    Rangers GM Jon Daniels addressed the speculation that his team might be a serious suitor for free agent slugger Prince Fielder after Wednesday’s press conference announcing the Yu Darvish contract. From MLB.com beat writer T.R. Sullivan: Jon Daniels, off camera, on the Rangers chances of pursuing Fielder: “I’m intimately aware of our budget and it’s very…

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