The Miami Marlins’ desire to land Yoenis Cespedes is no secret. They’ve been talking about it forever. They have been way out front in saying how much they want to push hard to market the team to the Latino community. And to that end, Jayson Stark reports that the Marlins may very well make an offer to Cespedes today.
I find this interesting when contrasted with this report from Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com about the Baltimore Orioles’ interest:
The Orioles are still trying to determine their level of interest in Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. The next step is for Fred Ferreira, their executive director of international recruiting, to take another look at him.
Ferreira will head to the Dominican Republic in about 10 days to watch Cespedes work out.
I suppose it’s possible that Cespedes will hem and haw for another two more weeks. But really, if the Marlins are making an offer today, what are the odds that the O’s will have to seriously “assess their interest?” He could easily be doing early workouts at the Marlins’ training facility by then.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.
Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.
Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.
The Tigers currently have Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and JaCoby Jones at the top of their center field depth chart. It is not what one would call “optimal.”