Yoenis Cespedes thanks Bartolo Colon, Manny Ramirez for helping him adjust


Buster Olney is on vacation this week and, in his place, various players have been writing guest columns at the beginning of his daily link post.  Today it’s Yoenis Cespedes.  Mostly it’s about adjusting to life in the United States. It’s pretty interesting.

Part of what’s interesting: two of the A’s players he singles out for credit in helping him adjust. On of them is Bartolo Colon, who, along with Jordan Norberto, he calls “my adoptive family,” and says that he doesn’t even want to imagine what would have happened without them.  I guess he’ll have to figure out how to live with Colon now.

But the one to which he gives the most effusive credit? Yup, Manny:

Manny Ramirez provided invaluable support during spring training … During spring training, Manny told me I would hit in the majors and that I only had to work hard every day. Having the opportunity to work closely with someone who has been as extraordinary as Manny is something I will never forget.

I noticed when I was in Phoenix for spring training that the A’s had put Cespedes’ locker right next to Manny’s and that Manny was the only one I saw him talking to apart from his translator, Ariel Prieto.

It’s almost as if the A’s and Cespedes don’t believe all of that “Manny is a clubhouse cancer” stuff that everyone accepts as gospel.

Henderson Alvarez signs with Tigres de Quintana Roo

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Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.

The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.

That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.