Yoenis Cespedes could be declared a free agent as soon as next week

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Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has drawn interest from well over a dozen MLB teams, but he is not yet eligible to sign with anyone. That could change as soon as next week.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com was told by a source that while the time frame is “difficult to say,” Cespedes will be declared a free agent by the “latter half (of winter meetings) or after.”

Cespedes, 26, needs to establish temporary residency in the Dominican Republic in order to become a free agent. The competition for him figures to be pretty fierce, as Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reported yesterday that “the buzz in baseball circles is that it will take north of $50 million to sign” him.

UPDATE: Rosenthal’s colleague Jon Paul Morosi was told by an executive “familiar with the international market” that the Yankees, Tigers and Marlins have shown the most interest in Cespedes.

Report: Brewers have made formal contract offer to Yu Darvish

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Yahoo Japan reported on Sunday (Monday there) that the Brewers have made a formal contract offer to free agent pitcher Yu Darvish. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has confirmed Yahoo Japan’s report. The length of the offered contract and the value are not known at the moment.

Darvish recently said on his personal Twitter account that the Rangers, Yankees, Cubs, Astros, Twins, and “one more team” have been in the running for his services. The unnamed team was believed to be the Dodgers, but it may well be the Brewers.

The Brewers could certainly use Darvish’s arm. Chase Anderson and Zach Davies currently lead the starting rotation and the club added Jhoulys Chacin and Yovani Gallardo this offseason.

Darvish, 31, posted a 3.86 ERA with a 209/58 K/BB ratio in 186 2/3 innings between the Rangers and Dodgers in the regular season last year. He faltered in the playoffs, specifically in the World Series, where he gave up nine runs in 3 1/3 innings across two starts. Darvish was apparently tipping his pitches, however, which is a correctable issue.