Yoenis Cespedes could be declared a free agent as soon as next week

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Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has drawn interest from well over a dozen MLB teams, but he is not yet eligible to sign with anyone. That could change as soon as next week.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com was told by a source that while the time frame is “difficult to say,” Cespedes will be declared a free agent by the “latter half (of winter meetings) or after.”

Cespedes, 26, needs to establish temporary residency in the Dominican Republic in order to become a free agent. The competition for him figures to be pretty fierce, as Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reported yesterday that “the buzz in baseball circles is that it will take north of $50 million to sign” him.

UPDATE: Rosenthal’s colleague Jon Paul Morosi was told by an executive “familiar with the international market” that the Yankees, Tigers and Marlins have shown the most interest in Cespedes.