Pirates Are Suitors for Yoenis Cespedes

Earlier today a scouting video was released of top Cuban prospect Yoenis Cespedes, who is expected to be declared a free agent in the next few weeks.  The video has since been removed, but was a pretty impressive display of Cespedes’ abilities.  On top of that, the video was somewhat entertaining, with some odd footage, including a Star Wars styled intro, and Cespedes roasting a pig at the end.

Cespedes is a 26 year old center fielder, and Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus calls him “arguably the best all-around player to come out of Cuba in a generation”.  He’s expected to see a deal at least in the $30.25 M range that Aroldis Chapman received in 2010.

Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates were one of eight teams that had someone at Cespedes’ workouts.  Brown mentions that the New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, and Florida Marlins are three of the teams that have private workouts in the upcoming weeks with Cespedes, but does mention that there are other teams with workouts.

His agent, Adam Katz, has said that he wants Cespedes to officially become a free agent, then wants all of the workouts to be complete before taking any bids.

Brown notes in the article that if the Yankees want him, the Yankees will get him.  The Pirates would be going up against some top teams in this one, although money seems to be the only thing that matters.  If the Pirates were going to over-spend, this is the type of deal they should pursue.  Brown suggests that Cespedes could surpass the $30.5 M that Chapman received.  He’d be signing for six years, so even something in the $40-50 M range would seem like a bargain if he lived up to his hype.  I’d rather see the Pirates over-spend on a guy like this, rather than giving $50 M to an Edwin Jackson type free agent.

Odds are that the Pirates won’t land Cespedes, especially with the Yankees involved.  Then again, in 2010 the Reds were able to land Chapman by making what seemed like a massive offer at the time (but is looking like it could amount to a big discount for Chapman’s services at this point).  I wouldn’t say the Pirates have a shot unless we hear otherwise.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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The Ideal Off-Season

  • http://twitter.com/BuccoMike Mike

    Cespedes power stroke kinda resembles that of a adrian beltre/ jose bautista toronto stroke he gets his power in his stride for a CF this dude is a specimen

  • http://twitter.com/BuccoMike Mike

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2tFjEBE1bg - there’s some cespedes if you need him

  • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

    I know that it’s a pretty slim chance…but with all the money coming off the books, I feel like they had damn well better sign him.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AGRPLJJRC5GNBYXDY6LHF2U6DU white angus

      or what?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=72405411 Ian Rothermund


  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AGRPLJJRC5GNBYXDY6LHF2U6DU white angus

    for the record, i dont agree with the assessment of Chapman.  $30MM for a relief pitcher who hasnt even closed seem like an overpsend to this point.  i dont care if he throws 105, which was total BS.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=72405411 Ian Rothermund

      He used to be a starter in Cuba.  It’s the fault of the Reds that they’re mismanaging their assets.  Chapman should’ve stayed in the minors until he was ready to come up as a starter.  Now, for the last two off seasons, they just talk about whether or not they should try it the next season.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OZG2IYY4UIJEND5745XPPUOSHY steve-O K

    Ok, I have not seen him play but assume he is good.  This is what I would to.  Outbid and get him. Trade McCutchen to a team in need of an immediate starting CF, say Texas and get Profar, their top pitcher Perez, and one other top 8 guy, say a 3rd baseman Olt.  Keep Tabata,Presley, Cespedes, and make Marte the star player of the outfield for years to come.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AGRPLJJRC5GNBYXDY6LHF2U6DU white angus

      sure, if texas agreed to that, but they wont…  maybe Profar and Holland plus a lower level guy.  Remember, Profar just needs one more really good season and he may be the top position prospect in the game.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=72405411 Ian Rothermund

      But the Rangers don’t have that much of an immediate need in CF to sacrifice prospects like that.  I think all hypothetical trade ideas are stupid.  We as fans, playing on the internet have absolutely nothing to do with the team’s management.  If you want to outbid to try to get that Cuban, go for it, but stick him in RF. 

  • Anonymous

    Can Cespedes hit a curveball?

  • Douglas Alexander

    Yeah, 30 million for a relief pitcher with a 7.4 BB/9 is not a stea.

  • http://twitter.com/pskell02 Patrick Kelly
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Klima/847654241 Scott Klima

    It can’t hurt to go after him, but the Pirates shouldn’t overspend on an unknown player at this point with how the system is, especially for another CF.  

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OGCKUSO5MA5VUCJHW2YSJ2K3TM Bob

      That’s the perfect move for this retarded FO, now they could justify trading Cutch….

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OGCKUSO5MA5VUCJHW2YSJ2K3TM Bob

    Why not spend that $$ on someone proven, this is just a PR stunt for FO so fans think they are trying to sign him but really have no intentions of doing so.  

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      The front office had nothing to do with this rumor. They were just one of the teams at the workout.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OGCKUSO5MA5VUCJHW2YSJ2K3TM Bob

    Even if the Pirates did sign him they would stick him in AA and hinder his development, our FO is the worst in MLB.  

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      Keith Law put a scouting report up that said Cespedes would probably need some time in the minors. Not uncommon. Chapman pretty much spent a year in the minors before making the jump to the majors.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OGCKUSO5MA5VUCJHW2YSJ2K3TM Bob

        So 30M for a guy who is already 26 and can’t start at majors, Yankees can have him.  

        • Anonymous

          It’s not $30M all at once in 2012.  Assuming it is around 5 year, $30M that’s $6M/year.
          I’m not pro or negative on Cespedes….the bust rate for Cubans is pretty big.

          The level of play he was at in Cuba is said to be equivalent to Low A/High A here, so to expect him to come straight to the majors (with any team) is unrealistic.

          Leonys Martin did not dominate AAA in his stint with the Rangers’ last year.

          There are a lot of things you can question about Cespedes, but disregarding him immediately because he needs time in the minors is not valid.

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