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.
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.