While we’re all waiting to find out who had the top bid for Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish, the sweepstakes for Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is about to begin.
According to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes, Cespedes could be granted residency in the Dominican Republic this week. Edgar Mercedes, Cepsedes’ representative in the Dominican, said that the 26-year-old has already gained approval, so it sounds like they are only awaiting the official documentation.
“We’ll hear about it tomorrow [Tuesday]. We are confident that Yoenis will receive his documents this week.”
While Cespedes needs to be granted residency before becoming a free agent in MLB, he also needs to get approval from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. As we learned from Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus over the weekend, that likely won’t happen until the early part of January.
“The unlocking may take two weeks, but in January we’ll be authorized to sign,” Mercedes said. “We are on time to sign for the next season, because spring training will start on the second week of February.”
The number of teams who have scouted Cespedes in the Dominican Republic stretches well into the double-digits, though most consider the Yankees, Marlins, Cubs and Tigers the favorites to sign him.