Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com has an update on Yoenis Cespedes and says “the buzz in baseball circles is that it will take north of $50 million to sign” the 26-year-old Cuban outfielder.
Cespedes still has to establish residency in the Dominican Republic to officially become a free agent, but that’s viewed as merely a formality at this point.
And because he’s 26 years old with multiple seasons of professional experience Cespedes’ signing won’t be impacted by the recent collective bargaining agreement changes restricting international spending.
Aroldis Chapman received $30 million from the Reds after leaving Cuba in 2009 and just about every team in baseball has attended one of Cespedes’ workouts, including multiple general managers traveling to the Dominican Republic to get an in-person look. And of course there’s also the amazing 20-minute YouTube video that made the rounds last month.
The White Sox won’t make a bid for free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. Believed to be the favorites to land shortstop Manny Machado in free agency, the White Sox watched him ink a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The club is apparently content with its roster otherwise.
Harper would certainly be an upgrade in the outfield, which currently features Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico, and Jon Jay. It will soon feature prospects Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert.
Last season, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 hom eruns, 100 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances. He led all of baseball, drawing 130 walks. Harper is also a six-time All-Star who won the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 2015 NL Most Valuable Player Award.
The Phillies are still believed to be the favorites to sign Harper and the club is confident it will land him, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.