This article is courtesy of our friends at Oriole Post
As of today, the Orioles may still be short a slugger in their lineup; however, recently, Cuban slugger Yoenis Cespedes is now available as a free agent. He has officially established residency in the Dominican Republic and is playing winter ball there.
So far, Cespedes has struggled in the Dominican. According to the Baltimore Sun’s Eduardo A. Encina, he is currently hitting .143, (5-for-35) with one home run, 10 strikeouts and no walks for Aguilas.
That’s not good. Who knows if Cespedes is struggling because of a long layoff, or his batting eye may be suspect.
At this point, if anyone signs him to a long-term contract, who knows what they will be getting. Is he a finished product? Raw? Or perhaps not good as advertised? Is his bio and life in Cuba the truth, or something embellished?
Well, the Orioles still have their eye on him.
Baltimore is indeed interested. The organization has seen him at least twice, and one trip to the Dominican that included manager Buck Showalter, new executive director of international recruiting Fred Ferreira and international operations director David Stockstill. And anyone who follows the Orioles knows they’ve revved up their commitment to international scouting.
The race for Cespeses figures to be a competitive one. The Marlins have made it clear they are willing to empty their pockets for Cedpedes. The Tigers, seemingly out of the race for Cespedes after spending $214 million to sign Prince Fielder on Tuesday, reportedly are still interested.
The market value for Cespedes is unclear — some have said he could command more than Aroldis Chapman‘s six-year, $30.25 million deal — but there is some question, mainly focusing on his plate discipline, whether Cespedes is truly major league ready or needs fine tuning in the minors.
Key members of the Baltimore Orioles front office, along with Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette have travelled to the Dominican Republic during the off-season to take a look at Cuban slugger and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.
I’d hate to think that the Orioles would travel such a long way to just get a glimpse at a player and not make a move. At this point, I’d like the Orioles to take some risks and perhaps signing a player of Cespedes’ ability despite the price tag.
The Orioles need to make a serious move – perhaps Cespedes is one worth taking.
However, based on what I’ve heard so far, signing this guy to a long-term deal north of a combined $30 million may be a big mistake. I’m all for taking risks, but not going into the unknown.
Also, MLB announced their 100 Top Prospects yesterday, and both Dylan Bundy – the organization’s number one draft pick last year – and shortstop Manny Machado, made the list at number ten, and number six, respectively.
However, there were no other Orioles on the list.
Finally, Camden Chat’s ‘Eat More Esskay’ had a great writeup this week on his experience at FanFest as credentialed media.