Resetting the Market for Yoenis Cespedes

No two offseasons are alike. Some free-agent crops are bountiful, some less so. Sometimes, like last year, the trade market is on fire. Last winter, position players were on the move in huge numbers, due in part to a spate of new GMs — in particular, A.J. Preller — attempting to make their respective marks. Some years, the Winter Meetings are a virtual swap meet, while in others, they’re marked by a bunch of meetings leading to nowhere. Sometimes, the free-agent market dries up quickly, while in other years, Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Upton, Dexter Fowler, Ian Desmond, Yovani Gallardo, Doug Fister, Mat Latos and many others are still looking for work more than halfway into January.

When I wrote the first draft of this post yesterday, I was going to focus on the first two names in that list. Both entered the offseason with designs on a $150-million guarantee. Despite the relative lateness of the free-agent season, Justin Upton nearly reached that mark last night. Yoenis Cespedes remains available, however — and that availability has forced both him and all 30 clubs to step back and reassess his market.

For Cespedes, that means deciding whether to prioritize short- or long-term financial goals, while also considering competitive issues and quality of life. Meanwhile, clubs which might not have previously considered themselves as a possible destination for Cespedes are now having to decide whether to make a move in the event that his asking price drop far enough. After all, there really is no such thing as a “buyer” or a “seller”; hypothetically, if the price drops sufficiently low, all 30 clubs should dabble in the buyers’ end.

So let’s remove all preconceptions and determine which of the 30 clubs have a hole that could best be addressed by the signing of Cespedes, and examine whether the finances make sense both for player and club.

First, the skinny on Cespedes. He will play 2016 at age 30, and is coming off of a career year, accumulating 6.7 WAR in a season split between the Tigers and Mets. Power is his calling card; his batted-ball authority is over a full standard deviation better than league average in the air, on a line and on the ground. His strikeout rate is quite manageable for a power hitter, though his walk rate is disappointing, over a half standard deviation lower than league average. He has a bit of a pull tendency, though not an overly extreme one.

He is an infield-overshift consideration, but not a slam-dunk decision. His defensive pedigree is uneven, but he’s coming off of his best year in that department, earning a Gold Glove. His exceptional arm strength is a clear asset. One can even take a deep breath and play him in center field in short stints. Cespedes is a moderate risk, high reward player that Steamer conservatively projects for 2.9 WAR in 2016. He’ll likely pay off on even a high dollar deal for the next three years or so.

Importantly, he’s also displayed exceptional durability over the years; health is the sixth tool, and Cespedes possesses it.

Below is a comprehensive list of clubs who were projected to generate 1.0 WAR or less in left field, right field or designated hitter this season prior to the Upton signing yesterday. For each, we’ll briefly discuss the potential fit for a big-bat outfielder, both competitively and financially. Opening Day 2015 and current 2016 Opening Day payroll projections are listed. At the end, I’ll add two more clubs who don’t meet the strict criteria stated, but who could factor in anyway.

Boston
Hole: LF
2015 Payroll: $184.3M
2016 Payroll: $198.1M

Dave Dombrowski spent a lot of money in Detroit, and has already added David Price in his first offseason in Boston. Steamer already favors the Sox in the AL East, despite Rusney Castillo being projected for only 0.9 WAR as the starting left fielder. This would be a bold move, but one that would have a much better chance of paying off than last year’s Hanley Ramirez addition.

Conclusion: At the end of the day, the Sox have made their big move already and will pass.

NY Yankees
Hole: RF, DH
2015 Payroll: $217.8M
2016 Payroll: $229.6M

Yes, Alex Rodriguez is projected for all of 0.5 WAR in 2016. These are holes in name only, however. The Yanks, the acquisition of Aroldis Chapman notwithstanding, are actively attempting to conduct business in a new way.

Conclusion: A longshot.

Tampa Bay
Hole: DH
2015 Payroll: $75.8M
2016 Payroll: $68.1M

This is an intriguing example of a club that originally considered itself a non-factor, but now has to at least consider diving into the market. Their payroll is actually projected to be down from last year, the division is up for grabs, and a few wins could really go a long way. Plus, their newly negotiated ability to search for alternate stadium sites in the greater Tampa Bay area gives them at least a flicker of financial hope. They did, however, tender a contract to Logan Morrison, and aren’t the type of club that can afford to sit $4 million on the bench.

Conclusion: They might be intriguing, but they’re still a longshot.

Baltimore
Hole: LF, RF
2015 Payroll: $119.0M
2016 Payroll: $116.8M

OK, Chris Davis is finally in the fold, but this club is currently still projected to start Nolan Reimold and L.J. Hoes at the corner outfield positions. Even with the signing of Davis, their projected 2016 payroll is still a tad behind their 2015 level. Unfortunately for them, their starting pitching needs are just as significant. Think they might like the Mark Trumbo/Steve Clevenger deal back, with the $8 million in savings attached?

Conclusion: The O’s have been connected to Cespedes. With Upton off the board, they now figure to be a finalist.

Chi White Sox
Hole: RF, DH
2015 Payroll: $118.6M
2016 Payroll: $119.4M

Pretty interesting call for the White Sox here. The AL Central is projected to be even tighter than the East, and one signing could eventually make the difference. The club is committed to going young at shortstop, and has shored up its woeful team defense with the addition of Todd Frazier and Brett Lawrie. Do they give Avisail Garcia one more year in right, or do they pull the trigger? Financially, they get out from under incumbent DH Adam LaRoche after this season, so could a slightly backloaded deal for work?

Conclusion: A second-tier candidate for Cespedes, though the Tigers’ move for Upton could push them a bit.

Detroit
Hole: DH
2015 Payroll: $172.8M
2016 Payroll: $178.3M (pre-Upton)

The Tigers had a gaping hole in LF, where Tyler Collins was the projected starter. The club had already committed significant bucks to Jordan Zimmermann and Mike Pelfrey, and still has a questionable pen despite the addition of Francisco Rodriguez and Mark Lowe. A ton of money is guaranteed to a few aging individuals looking for one more shot at glory.

Conclusion: The signing of Upton means they’re all in.

Kansas City
Hole: RF, DH
2015 Payroll: $112.9M
2016 Payroll: $124.6M

Right field is currently projected to be manned by Jarrod Dyson; DH is a hole in name only, as Steamer projects regression from incumbent Kendrys Morales. You couldn’t totally rule out the Royals; the longer this situation has gone on, the more they’ve hoped a big outfield bat could fall into their price range. In reality, however, they already made their big move for Alex Gordon. The Royals’ money is spent, and they are likely set.

Conclusion: Longshot.

Minnesota
Hole: RF, DH
2015 Payroll: $108.3M
2016 Payroll: $109.4M

The Twins are currently projected to start Eddie Rosario in right and Oswaldo Arcia at DH in their young lineup. They’re actually in a bit of a box: they’re locked into Joe Mauer at $23 million per year through 2018, and at some point will have to start paying their young position players. Plus, adding pitching is a higher near-term priority.

Conclusion: Longshot.

Houston
Hole: LF, DH
2015 Payroll: $72.5M
2016 Payroll: $90.3M

The Astros might secretly wish that Colby Rasmus declined their qualifying offer. Cespedes would be a big upgrade over Rasmus or DH Evan Gattis. The Astros’ payroll is already up sharply, but the club has always expected to boost it once the club was restored to contention. Cespedes would be a great fit in this park.

Conclusion: Intriguing dark horse.

Seattle
Hole: LF, RF
2015 Payroll: $123.2M
2016 Payroll: $141.0M

The M’s have dramatically remade their roster under Jerry Dipoto this offseason, but I can’t help but think they’re done after Hisashi Iwakuma fell into their lap. The outfield is much more athletic — they actually have players who can catch fly balls now — but it’s still short on offense.

Conclusion: Longshot, but should at least kick the tires.

Texas
Hole: LF
2015 Payroll: $141.7M
2016 Payroll: $144.4M

This one’s all about Josh Hamilton. If the Rangers consider him a sunk cost, they should be in on Cespedes. Best guess, it’s a bit early to be writing off a significant acquisition that is less than a year old. The club has a ton of dollars invested in a small number of players, but retains one of the game’s best farm systems. Best guess is that the focus will be on the kids in the near term.

Conclusion: Longshot.

LA Angels
Hole: LF, DH
2015 Payroll: $146.3M
2016 Payroll: $167.9M

Purely from a competitive standpoint, this is a perfect landing spot for a big outfield bat. Left field is wide open, with Steamer currently considering Daniel Nava to be the starter; DH is a hole in name only, as Albert Pujols will be penciled in when healthy. The Angels have continued to empty out their meager farm system for win-now pieces; this one will only cost money.

Conclusion: Second-tier candidate that will blink if situation gets real.

Oakland
Hole: LF, DH
2015 Payroll: $83.9M
2016 Payroll: $82.2M

These guys always zig when you expect them to zag, and they haven’t yet made their totally unexpected move of the offseason yet. Plus, Cespedes flourished here. That said, I think the A’s have learned their lesson, and are unlikely to get involved unless the acquisition cost drops to an unexpectedly low level.

Conclusion: Longshot.

Atlanta
Hole: LF, RF
2015 Payroll: $97.1M
2016 Payroll: $85.2M

The Braves are currently committed to Hector Olivera and Nick Markakis on the outfield corners, appearing to tie their hands. Upton would have actually fit nicely into their rebuilding plan, but he’s gone now.

Conclusion: Longshot.

Cincinnati
Hole: LF, RF
2015 Payroll: $115.4M
2016 Payroll: $91.2M

Left field is a true hole, currently projected to be manned by Adam Duvall. Ironically, the right-field hole is currently filled by Jay Bruce, a fading vet they’re currently trying to move. The Reds should have been poised to kick the tire on both outfielders, in the case the price dropped. They should be looking to turn things around within a three-year window, in which both players were projected to excel. This is a team that should be considering both actively buying and selling (Brandon Phillips) concurrently, to win in the Joey Votto Window of Excellence. There is some really interesting young pitching here.

Conclusion: Longshot.

San Francisco
Hole: LF
2015 Payroll: $173.2M
2016 Payroll: $172.1M

The Giants have been big-game hunters this offseason, adding Jeff Samardzija, Johnny Cueto and Denard Span already. Despite this, their payroll is basically flat from last year. In theory, at least, this leaves room for a big corner outfield addition. In reality, however, the Giants have won with outfield complements similar to their current group of Angel Pagan, Span and Hunter Pence from left to right, with Gregor Blanco perpetually in reserve. I’d bet they’re lurking, and having discussions, but ultimately, their big moves have already been consummated.

Conclusion: Second-tier contender.

Arizona
Hole: RF
2015 Payroll: $88.2M
2016 Payroll: $99.1M

The D-backs have already dropped a couple big bombs this offseason, inking Zack Greinke to a Godfather contract and swapping the farm for Shelby Miller. Right field would appear to be wide open, with a very raw Yasmany Tomas in place. Might Dave Stewart decide to push his remaining chips to the center of the table?

Conclusion: Longshot.

San Diego
Hole: LF
2015 Payroll: $108.4M
2016 Payroll: $99.5M

The Padres have a gaping hole in left field, set to be manned by, perhaps, Justin’s older brother Melvin Upton. Not really sure what the Padres’ plan is, but it doesn’t seem to revolve around large free agent purchases.

Conclusion: Longshot.

*****

Two more for the road…

Toronto
Hole: None
2015 Payroll: $125.9M
2016 Payroll: $141.3M

Left field isn’t technically a hole by my stated definition, as Michael Saunders is projected for 1.0 WAR there in 2016. Still, wouldn’t the Jays be better off with Saunders as a fourth outfielder? Upton in particular would have looked nice alongside this club’s aging offensive nucleus. That said, I’m not sure the payroll flexibility for a major addition is there.

Conclusion: Longshot.

NY Mets
Hole: None
2015 Payroll: $101.3M
2016 Payroll: $108.6M

Center field is the closest thing the Mets have to a “hole”; Juan Lagares is projected for 1.4 WAR there in 2016. The Mets already boosted their payroll by trading for Cespedes last summer; why wouldn’t they do it again, given how well it worked last time? The main concern is that Cespedes would likely be forced to play more center field this time around, as Michael Conforto would seem to have a lock on most of the left field at-bats. This one bears watching.

Conclusion: A very real possibility for Cespedes should he not sign in Baltimore.

So there you have it. My prediction? With Upton now off of the board, without needing to take a discount, expect a battle royale among the Orioles, Mets and perhaps a wild card like the White Sox for Cespedes’ services. The market certainly did take a while to define itself, and though a good deal of the industry’s available funds were held by clubs not looking to contend, it does appeal that both Upton and Cespedes will get fair value in the end.



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dumbego
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dumbego
4 months 12 days ago

I could be wrong, but can’t Cespedes be signed without forfeiting the first round pick because the Mets could not offer him a QO, due to the fact that he was traded mid-season?

abonham1
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abonham1
4 months 12 days ago

I was about to comment the same thing.

MikeIsGreat
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MikeIsGreat
4 months 12 days ago

I believe it is actually a clause in his contract that did not allow the Mets to give him a QO.

abonham1
Member
abonham1
4 months 12 days ago

doesn’t matter whether a clause in his contract…since he was traded mid-season, he’s not subject to the QO system.

jpg
Member
jpg
4 months 12 days ago

Also, I could be wrong on this, but I believe the stipulation in his contract that he be released with five days of final game of the World Series precluded Detroit from offering him a QO if they kept him. I think that’s why he waived it upon be traded because at that point, it served no purpose other than to take the Mets out as a potential suitor.

Otter
Member
Member
Otter
4 months 12 days ago

Yup, Cespedes won’t cost anyone a pick. Fowler on the other hand, will.

Bat
Member
Bat
4 months 12 days ago

Cameron is a very smart guy, about baseball as well as other stuff like finance. I loved how he called the Vernon Wells trade a disaster on the day it happened, and called the Matt Kemp deal the second coming of the Vernon Wells trade on the day it happened.

Those are just two examples of his amazing intellect. I’d take his baseball knowledge over just about anyone.

But Dave seems to have no clue about the Mets finances – none.

At the beginning of the offseason, he had the Mets signing Ian Desmond, Darren O’Day, and, if I’m not mistaken, Tony Sipp, for something close to $150 million (again, that’s my recollection).

The Mets never had any intention of spending that kind of money this offseason.

The Mets signed Cabrera, and that was their big offseason expenditure as Walker will make basically the same as Niese.

The Wilpons owe the Madoff trustee another $30 million in 2016 and $30 million in 2017. My understanding is that the stadium and SNY TV is carrying approximately $880 million in debt, which given the assets secured by the debt, is not in and of itself fatal. But it’s still a big number.

Anyone who has observed the Mets spending since the Madoff Ponzi scheme broke could tell you that the Mets are not getting into any “battle royale” over Cespedes as Dave indicates above.

In fact, I don’t think they would have even acquired Cespedes, Clippard, Reed, Uribe, and K. Johnson at the deadline if it wasn’t for the fact that they got some insurance money for Wright’s extended injury and all of these guys other than Reed were going to be free agents. For some teams, they wouldn’t like that the guys were going to depart soon. But the Mets loved the lack of a commitment past the end of the year (i.e., two months or so).

Again, Dave is brilliant. But seems to have no understanding of the Mets financial situation. The Mets might sign Cespedes…if everything continues to break right (i.e., Tigers out of the picture) and Cespedes’ price drops significantly. But the Mets aren’t getting into any battle royale over the guy.

Bat
Member
Bat
4 months 12 days ago

My apologies to Dave with respect to this particular article as I now see that Dave wrote the article below this one, and not the one on Cespedes. I glanced too quickly at the author name before reading the article.

But just change what I said about Dave to apply to FanGraphs writers in general – Dave was saying at the beginning of the offseason where he had the Mets spending $150 million or so on free agents instead of the $18 million on Cabrera, and now Tony is saying the Mets are going to get into a battle royale for Cespedes’ services.

That’s not happening, guys.

If Cespedes joins the Mets, it’s because no other bidders decided to go past the 1-2 year range in the amount of a total commitment of $50 million or so.

And even those amounts of dollars would be a surprise when you think about the Mets offseason free agent acquisitions over the past few years (i.e., Cabrera, Colon, Cuddyer, Frank Francisco, DJ Carrasco and other “buy off the discount rack” type of guys).

Other than Eno Sarris, who is a Mets fan and is all too aware of the budgetary restraints, it seems the other FanGraphs writers believe the Mets are still spending like they did in the Steve Phillips days.

Muzz
Member
Muzz
4 months 12 days ago

Good stuff! Definitely a good breakdown of the suitors! It looks like you’re using Baseball-Reference’s estimates of payroll, and I find that those aren’t entirely accurate. I’ve only done extensive research on my own favorite team (the White Sox) but B-R includes prorated signing bonuses for players that have already been paid out and thus don’t have any impact on the cash flows for the upcoming season. This adds roughly $4 million to the White Sox payroll estimate that really isn’t there. This wouldn’t really make a big difference to a normal team (if you’re letting $4 million deter you from a marquee free agent you have issues), but the White Sox are so heavily profit driven as a franchise, $4 million could have a significant impact on whether or not they decide to spend money. I don’t think this changes their outlook much, ownership won’t spring for Cespedes, no matter how apparent it is that they need an upgrade, and I’ll likely have to endure another year without playoff baseball.

Brians Sticky Sock
Member
Brians Sticky Sock
4 months 12 days ago

Your fellow fans really need to start showing up at the park if they want their team to put a competitive team on the field. They should have a top 10 payroll every year if they had fan support.

Muzz
Member
Muzz
4 months 12 days ago

Usually when a team doesn’t make the playoffs in 7 years and has had a losing record in 5 of those 7 years fan interest starts to wane. White Sox fans hear the narrative “We’d spend more if more fans show up” every season but no fans want to see losing teams, that’s not how it works. If the White Sox wanted to invest more heavily and improve their on-field product, I’m sure more fans would go to games. More fans went to games the last time the White Sox had any sustained success resulting in playoff appearances (2005-2008), there’s no reason to think it wouldn’t happen again. But the team *has* to actually make the playoffs to draw fans. That’s what happens when you’re a perpetually bad team.

Dan Szymborski likened the White Sox’ situation to a brewery. A brewery couldn’t just make crappy beer and then demand consumers purchase the bad beer and after they sell enough bad beer they’ll finally say, “OK, we’ve made enough money to make good beer now.” The White Sox have to put a product on the field that fans want to see, otherwise there is no incentive for fans to invest money in the team.

Brians Sticky Sock
Member
Brians Sticky Sock
4 months 12 days ago

Bullshit. I’ve lived in Chicago my entire life. Sox fans have always come up with lame excuses on why they stay away from the park. The blue seats, the upper deck, Frank didn’t smile, they didn’t like the food, the neighborhood, the red line, blah, blah, blah… I’ve been listening to them on the Score since it’s inception. Reinsdorf has tried everything to get them to go to the park. They’re a very passionate fanbase… that watches the team from their homes.

jpg
Member
jpg
4 months 12 days ago

White Sox 2005 – 2008

ATTND: 2,628,437 – AL AVG 2,453,032

White Sox 2012 -2015

ATTND: 1,846,577 – AL AVG 2,330,958

I dunno but the argument consisting of numbers and basic common sense is a little more persuasive than the “I live in Chicago and listen to the Score. You don’t know shit” argument.

majnun
Member
majnun
4 months 12 days ago

Boom! Ya burnt, sticky sock

Brians Sticky Sock
Member
Brians Sticky Sock
4 months 12 days ago

Yeah, I could have been much more eloquent and clearly I’m not going to win this one… but Sox fans have been notoriously fickle… I can’t believe I even have to defend this.

Jason B
Member
Jason B
4 months 11 days ago

“I can’t believe I even have to defend this”

Well, I mean, you could try with data, rather than just preemptively claiming you’re still right when conflicting data is presented to your argument?

(The good thing is, it’s not just you! Not by a long shot! We have such a hard time knocking down our preconceived or deeply-held ideas in general.)

Brians Sticky Sock
Member
Brians Sticky Sock
4 months 11 days ago

They play in the second largest AL city (but you could argue that Anaheim’s market is larger) shouldn’t they always be above league average? In the Cubs’ recent lean years, they were still above average.

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/teams/wsoxatte.shtml

Brians Sticky Sock
Member
Brians Sticky Sock
4 months 11 days ago
Kvn
Member
Kvn
4 months 12 days ago

I really don’t see the O’s going anywhere near Cespedes’ asking price now that they signed Davis. I would be pretty surprised if the $90MM offer from earlier is even still on the table.

Regression is Mean
Member
Regression is Mean
4 months 12 days ago

Reimold and Hoes? I would think Trumbo and certainly Kim would be slotted as the O’s starting corner OF positions. They have enough offense to compete, they need a 5th starter (likely Fister would be best fit).

Also, I assume you used B-R’s payroll to show them at ~$117M, but they haven’t updated with Davis yet as his is still pending, so it is actually $134M. They aren’t adding another $20M+ this year.

attgig
Member
attgig
4 months 12 days ago

Agreed. Kim should be penciled in as LF, barring huge disappointment in spring training, while Trumbo will probably be our starting RF… (Please don’t kill us with your defense) with Alvarez in DH.

Cespedes would most likely make Trumbo/Alvarez a timeshare.

Bryon
Member
Bryon
4 months 12 days ago

It is beginning to look like Cespedes is going to be the odd man out in the FA market this year. Most of the spenders have spent their money already like Det, SF, Chi Cubs, and the other big spenders are already set in the OF. I think that in the end, Cespedes and his agent are going to take the long view and sign a 1 year deal with a team like the Mets. This is somewhat shocking too as Cespedes had a career year in 2015 and one would think it is the perfect time to get paid. But this year the big push was for pitching, and a deep OF free agent market did him in.

diehardmets
Member
diehardmets
4 months 12 days ago

The Mets creditors have basically prohibited them from handing out free agent contracts of any signifigance, and they’ve made it known they were not in talks with Cespedes until the length of the deal he demanded fell to at most three years. Even if that happens, they Wilpons don’t have the money to pay the high AAV Cespedes will look for. It seems highly unlikely that he comes back to the Mets at this point.

NeoShweaty
Member
NeoShweaty
4 months 12 days ago

Source for your first claim?

Noah Baron
Member
Noah Baron
4 months 11 days ago

The “Wilpon Truthers” as I like to call them never provide sources, other than the occasional Howard Megdal article.

They just can’t wrap their heads around the fact that the Mets front office is taking the long term view instead of the Minaya/Phillips way, which was spending a ton of money on a big free agent each year and ignoring the farm system (Delgado, Beltran, Santana, K-Rod, Bay etc.)

These people all said that there was no way that the Mets would make trades to improve the team at the deadline. After they made not one but 3 (!) major trades, they claimed that they were only able to make the trades because they were using Wright’s insurance money. I promise you I’m not joking, this is actually what these people said.

The fact that the Mets made the highest offer to Zobrist isn’t enough. Neither are the Granderson, Colon, and Cuddyer contracts. No, according to these people we’re all sheep if we don’t see how the Madoff Scandal (almost 10 years old now) is preventing the Mets from signing any free agents.

Brians Sticky Sock
Member
Brians Sticky Sock
4 months 12 days ago

Correct me if I’m wrong, since I’m commenting from Chicago and am not up to date on all things Mets, but I thought their ownership lost ~$70mm to Madoff… that was several years ago. How long can this keep hampering the team? The’ve been spending like a mid market team for a few years now. shouldn’t they be close to being fine? Or was the number bigger?

rosen380
Member
Brians Sticky Sock
Member
Brians Sticky Sock
4 months 12 days ago

Thanks! That explains a lot.

Dooduh
Member
Dooduh
4 months 12 days ago

Why not Rox or Phils?

Hurtlocker
Member
Hurtlocker
4 months 12 days ago

Cespedes might end up with his fifth team in five years, makes you wonder why teams are so eager to give him up??

jpg
Member
jpg
4 months 12 days ago

I wrote this same response in Dave’s Cespedes piece from last week:

Not really. Just look at the circumstances:

Oakland was all in and felt they needed an ace. They traded a 3ish WAR Cespedes to Boston for a 5ish WAR ace in Lester.

Boston, in the following off season needed to replace Lester and had a bazillion outfielders – Betts, Bradley, Victorino, Cespedes, Nava, Craig – so they traded from their surplus for Porcello who was young and coming off a career year.

Detroit traded Cespedes to the Mets because they were out of it and didn’t think they could resign him do to that clause in his contract that stipulated he be released five days after the World Series.

The Mets are letting him leave because they are already set in the corners and have an all world defender in center field (unlike Cespedes who’s a bad center fielder) who’s making peanuts. Oh yeah and the owners are cheap and/or broke.

That’s how a talented guy finds himself on a bunch of different teams. The Mets players and coaches all spoke highly of Cespedes as a locker room presence for what it’s worth.

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
4 months 12 days ago

I mean, it does make you wonder. But then if you look into it and there is zero evidence that he’s a “clubhouse cancer” or likely to be deported, then I think it is safe to just stop wondering, no?

gbaked
Member
4 months 12 days ago

He is not a clubhouse cancer. Not even in the least.

That being said, he also (from the POV of a fan) does not seem to be any kind of team leader, preferring to be a very productive member and let others emotionally lead.

He also has a lackadaisical way of playing. I only watched him with the mets, but he was famously aloof in CF during the playoffs, and his approach at the plate is swing hard at everything. Times when the mets just really needed a base-hit, he was swinging out of his shoes trying to hit it out of the stadium.

I am glad to hear the mets are back in with the price drop, because on a 3-4 year deal he is too good a power bat to pass up… but I was also glad they passed on 6-8 years, because trying to figure out what kind of player he is going to be is hard and he looks like a high risk guy.

Shirtless Bartolo Colon
Member
4 months 12 days ago

Yo is a quiet guy, a good dude. Nothing like Puig who’s a punk.

jdbolick
Member
Member
4 months 12 days ago

this club is currently still projected to start Nolan Reimold and L.J. Hoes at the corner outfield positions.

Kim Hyun-soo presumably starts in one spot, but the Orioles could certainly use a reliable bat in the other.

The club is committed to going young at shortstop, and has shored up its woeful team defense with the addition of Todd Frazier and Brett Lawrie.
This has been a common assertion in the media but it’s actually wrong. Frazier is better than Olt & Gillaspie were, yet not as good as Beckham or Saladino at third. You’d still consider it a mild defensive upgrade based on Frazier’s track record, the problem is that Brett Lawrie has been apocalyptically bad as a second baseman when that’s one of the only places Chicago was pretty good defensively last season. So in reality their arguably league worst defense became even worse.

jdbolick
Member
Member
4 months 12 days ago

quotefail. *facepalm*

dannykirkland
Member
dannykirkland
4 months 12 days ago

While the Mariners might not be an ideal fit from a salary standpoint, there could be a fit if Seth Smith, the left-handed portion of the RF platoon and owed $7M, were to be traded. This could offset some of the 2016 cost and allow Cespedes to slot into RF. The new outfield platoon could be in LF with Aoki and Gutierrez splitting time. Cespedes seemed pretty unlikely at the beginning of the off-season but I’d argue Baltimore, New York and Chicago aren’t any more financially realistic than Seattle.

scott
Member
scott
4 months 12 days ago

Cleveland makes sense to me.

walt526
Member
walt526
4 months 12 days ago

The Tigers have Victor Martinez as a full-time DH, who is owed $18M each for 2016-18. Unless they’re willing to eat that contract as a sunk cost (unlikely), it’s hard to see why they’d sign Cespedes when they already have Upton and J.D. Martinez as corner outfielders.

Jackie T.
Member
Member
Jackie T.
4 months 11 days ago

Byung Ho Park is currently atop the depth chart as the Twins DH.

robin
Member
robin
4 months 11 days ago

I’m under the impression Cespedes won’t play RF, so any team with a hole there may not actually be a potential suitor. I gather that’s why the Mets had Granderson in RF despite Cespedes’ arm being a much better fit there.

Money may talk on this point for Cespedes, or maybe some of those teams could move their LF over.

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