Yoenis Cespedes close to establishing residency in Dominican Republic

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While we’re all waiting to find out who had the top bid for Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish, the sweepstakes for Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is about to begin.

According to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes, Cespedes could be granted residency in the Dominican Republic this week. Edgar Mercedes, Cepsedes’ representative in the Dominican, said that the 26-year-old has already gained approval, so it sounds like they are only awaiting the official documentation.

“We’ll hear about it tomorrow [Tuesday]. We are confident that Yoenis will receive his documents this week.”

While Cespedes needs to be granted residency before becoming a free agent in MLB, he also needs to get approval from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. As we learned from Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus over the weekend, that likely won’t happen until the early part of January.

“The unlocking may take two weeks, but in January we’ll be authorized to sign,” Mercedes said. “We are on time to sign for the next season, because spring training will start on the second week of February.”

The number of teams who have scouted Cespedes in the Dominican Republic stretches well into the double-digits, though most consider the Yankees, Marlins, Cubs and Tigers the favorites to sign him.

White Sox won’t make bid for Bryce Harper

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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.