Yoenis Cespedes nearly ready for Cactus League play

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Yoenis Cespedes Mania — if that’s going to be a thing — is about to hit Phoenix Municipal Stadium, where the A’s play their spring training games.

According to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, Cespedes is expected to be ready to make his Cactus League debut “by this weekend.”

The 26-year-old Cuban defector has been working out and participating in drills since arriving in Arizona last Friday. He’s scheduled to get six plate appearances in a simulated game this afternoon and should be sufficiently tuned up by Saturday or Sunday.

Cespedes signed a four-year, $36 million contract with Oakland in mid-February.

He batted .333/.424/.667 with a league-record 33 home runs and 99 RBI in 90 games last year in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, and could crack the A’s Opening Day roster with a strong showing this spring.

Guardians trade OF Will Benson to Reds for OF Justin Boyd

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
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CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Guardians traded outfielder Will Benson to the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday for outfielder Justin Boyd.

The defending AL Central champions also will get a player to be named from the Reds in the swap.

Cincinnati drafted Boyd in the second round last year out of Oregon State. He led the Pac-12 with a .373 batting average and 24 steals in 2022. The 21-year-old batted .203 in 73 at-bats for Class-A Daytona.

The 6-foot-5 Benson spent 28 games with the Guardians last season, batting .182 with three RBIs in 28 games. The 24-year-old struggled at the plate, striking out 19 times in just 55 at-bats.

Benson was once considered one of Cleveland’s top outfield prospects, but has since been surpassed by Steven Kwan, Oscar Gonzalez and Will Brennan.