Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes remains in limbo as he tries to establish residency in the Dominican Republic and become a free agent, but there may finally be a light at the end of the tunnel.
Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports that Cespedes is expected to be declared a free agent “sometime in the next 10 days” and January 15 is the “tentative day” being targeted.
Frisaro expects the Marlins to be among the teams making a strong push for Cespedes once he’s officially on the open market and there’s been plenty of speculation about the 26-year-old outfielder commanding more than $50 million.
Former Phillies right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez died in a traffic accident in Havana on Thursday, per reports from the El Nuevo Herald and CiberCuba. No other deaths or injuries have been reported in connection to the accident. Gonzalez was 34 years old.
The Cuban righty defected from his home country in 2013 and signed a three-year, $12 million contract with the Phillies. A bout of right shoulder tendinitis compromised his bid for a major league role, but he finally broke through to the big leagues at the tail end of the 2014 season and turned in a 6.75 ERA, 5.1 BB/9 and 8.4 SO/9 in just six outings. Another case of shoulder inflammation derailed any progress he might have made in 2015, however, and he recorded just five innings in Triple-A Lehigh Valley before the team officially released him prior to the 2016 season.
The Phillies released a statement following news of Gonzalez’s death: