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.

Video: Gift Ngoepe singles in his first major league at-bat

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Pirates infielder Gift Ngoepe, just called up from Triple-A Indianapolis, singled in his first major league at-bat on Wednesday evening against Cubs starter Jon Lester. It was a well-struck ground ball up the middle in the bottom of the fourth inning. Unfortunately for him, the Pirates could not bring him around to score.

Ngoepe, who was pinch-hitting, stayed in the game to play second base.

Shelby Miller getting third opinion on elbow from Dr. James Andrews

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Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Monday due to inflammation in his right elbow. He had a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday and is currently awaiting a third opinion from Dr. James Andrews, Craig Grialou of Arizona Sports reports. That he’s getting a third opinion seems to imply that Miller’s elbow issue is rather serious.

Miller, 26, hasn’t been able to catch a break since joining the Diamondbacks. Last year’s nightmarish season included a finger injury stemming from mechanical woes and a brief demotion to the minor leagues. In 20 starts in the majors last year, Miller posted an ugly 6.15 ERA. This year, his ERA is a mediocre 4.09 over four starts.

The Diamondbacks called up Zack Godley to take Miller’s spot in the rotation. There was some speculation that it would be Archie Bradley instead, but he’s been working out of the bullpen.