From Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times comes word that Cuban slugger Yoenis Cespedes turned down a six-year, $36 million contract offer from the Cubs last month before inking his four-year, $36 million deal with the A’s. Wittenmyer explains:
In addition to the significant difference in annual salary, the center fielder told his agent he didn’t want a six-year deal from anybody. If not four, [Cespedes] wanted eight or more.
The Cubs wouldn’t go that long, and they also wouldn’t agree to a clause that would make Cespedes ineligible for arbitration. The Athletics did, meaning the 26-year-old can hit the open market again at age 30.
Cespedes is 3-for-16 in the Cactus League with a home run, two singles, two walks and six strikeouts. He batted .333/.424/.667 with 33 home runs and 99 RBI in 90 games last year in Cuba’s Serie Nacional.
The Miami Marlins have been stockpiling international bonus money of late and now that has paid off, as they just formally announced the signing of top international prospect Victor Victor Mesa.
They have also signed his brother, the less-regarded prospect Victor Mesa, Jr. It was, presumably, a package deal. Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that Victor Victor, 22, will receive about $5.25 million while his 17-year-old brother gets a $1 million bonus.
Victor Victor was ranked as the No. 1 player in this year’s international signing class. He’s a plus outfield defender with a strong arm and he has serious wheels as well. He played for Matanzas in Cuba’s Serie Nacional when he was only 16 and was 3-for-7 with two doubles for Cuba during last year’s World Baseball Classic.
Victor Mesa Jr. is a switch-hitting outfielder with potential, but unlike his brother, he’s like to spend considerable time in the minors. Most scouts believe Victor Victor will debut with the Marlins as early as next season.
The Mesa brothers are the son of Victor Mesa, who played in Serie Nacional from the 1970’s into the 1990s and starred on the Cuban national team. He has also managed in Cuba, in Mexico and for Cuba’s 2017 World Baseball Classic team.