Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer heard this weekend that Cuban phenom Yoenis Cespedes might not be eligible for major league free agency for another two months. But that hasn’t stopped teams from expressing serious interest.
According to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, the Cubs will have a private workout with the 26-year-old outfielder in the coming days, following in the Marlins’ footsteps. And many more teams are expected to join them over the next several weeks.
Cespedes has an intriguing combination of power and speed, and most talent evaluators believe he could be ready for everyday major league action within a few months of signing a deal.
Beyond the Marlins and Cubs, the Red Sox, Phillies, Indians, Blue Jays, Pirates, Rangers, Tigers, Nationals, Athletics, Marlins and Yankees have also made their interest known.
Perhaps there are a few who still miss the slope of Tal’s Hill rising from center field, but George Springer isn’t one of them. He lassoed a 403-foot fly ball from Todd Frazier in the seventh inning of Game 6, reaching nearly to the top of the wall to prevent the Yankees from gaining on the Astros’ 3-0 lead.
According to Statcast, a fly ball with an exit velocity of 103.6 MPH and a launch angle of 29 degrees lands for a home run 72% of the time. That wasn’t going to fly with the Astros, who were facing runners on first and second with one out and saw Justin Verlander‘s pitch count rapidly approaching 100.
It wasn’t long before the Yankees tried for another home run, however, and this one sailed far above the heads of all of the Astros’ outfielders. Aaron Judge lofted a 425-foot shot to left field in the eighth inning, destroying a first-pitch fastball from Brad Peacock and finally getting New York on the board.
The Yankees currently trail the Astros 4-1 in the bottom of the eighth.