Yoenis Cespedes’ price tag expected to rise above $50 million

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Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com has an update on Yoenis Cespedes and says “the buzz in baseball circles is that it will take north of $50 million to sign” the 26-year-old Cuban outfielder.

Cespedes still has to establish residency in the Dominican Republic to officially become a free agent, but that’s viewed as merely a formality at this point.

And because he’s 26 years old with multiple seasons of professional experience Cespedes’ signing won’t be impacted by the recent collective bargaining agreement changes restricting international spending.

Aroldis Chapman received $30 million from the Reds after leaving Cuba in 2009 and just about every team in baseball has attended one of Cespedes’ workouts, including multiple general managers traveling to the Dominican Republic to get an in-person look. And of course there’s also the amazing 20-minute YouTube video that made the rounds last month.

The Mariners have made an offer to bring back Hisashi Iwakuma

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Hisashi Iwakuma tells the Japan Times that the Mariners have made him an offer to return.

Iwakuma became a free agent earlier this month after the Mariners, not surprisingly, declined his $10 million option for 2018. Iwakuma says that it’s “not a done deal,” but “hopefully I will be able to make a positive announcement soon.”

Iwakuma, who turns 37 early next season, made only six starts in 2017, posting a 4.35 ERA, 3.5 BB/9 and 4.6 SO/9 over 31 innings. He went on the disabled list in May and never returned to action, undergoing arthroscopic debridement surgery in September. He hopes to be recovered fully by spring training.