Now that you have had a chance to recover from the Yoenis Cespedes video, let’s talk about where this too weird to live and too rare to die talent may actually play baseball.
He had a tryout in the Dominican Republic on Friday and, as Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports, it drew the interest of several teams. In addition to the usual suspects — like the Yankees, who have expressed interest — the Nationals, Marlins and Phillies are all keenly interested too. And it doesn’t seem hard to see why.
Friend-of-the-blog and sometimes commenter @Leokitty made a great point: The Marlins are too perfect a fit. They’ve made noise about wanting to make a big splash, this is a very-Marlins kind of splash in that, while it would take money, it’s not crazy money because the guy would be controlled for years. He’s Cuban, and that is a pretty awesome thing to be in Miami. In a lot of ways it might mirror the Aroldis Chapman thing in that no one saw the Reds coming until just before they signed the guy.
In any event. it sounds like we have another top-end free agent on our hands this winter. And that’s wonderful.
Update (5:04 PM EST): The White Sox will receive pitchers Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning from the Nationals, per Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago. MLB Pipeline rated them No. 1, 3, and 6 in the Nationals’ minor league system.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Nationals are close to acquiring outfielder Adam Eaton from the White Sox. He notes that outfielder Victor Robles, the Nationals’ No. 2 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, is not included in the deal.
Eaton, 28, is signed to a very team-friendly contract. He’ll earn $4 million in 2017, $6 million in ’18, and $8.4 million in ’19. His controlling team then has a club option worth $9.5 million in 2020 with a $1.5 million buyout and a $10.5 million club option in ’21 with a $1.5 million buyout.
This past season, Eaton was worth 3.9 Wins Above Replacement according to Baseball Reference after playing significantly above-average defense while batting .284/.362/.428 with 14 home runs, 59 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 706 plate appearances.
If the deal goes through, the Nationals would move Trea Turner from center field to shortstop. Meanwhile, the White Sox continue their teardown after trading Chris Sale to the Red Sox on Tuesday.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Marlins have signed veteran catcher A.J. Ellis to a one-year, $2.5 million deal.
Ellis, 35, began the 2016 season with the Dodgers but went to the Phillies in the Carlos Ruiz trade near the end of August. Overall, he hit .216/.301/.298 in 196 plate appearances.
Ellis will back up J.T. Realmuto behind the dish.