The 26-year-old Cespedes obtained a visa to visit Miami this past week but has no plans to visit other teams who may be interested in his services. The proposed deal would surpass the record for contracts handed to Cuban-born players currently held by the Reds and Aroldis Chapman at $30.25-million over six years, though it is a fair bit less than the $50-million figure that had been thrown around by some in the industry.
Cespedes has shown the ability to hit for power and projects as at least an average defender in centerfield, above average in right, but has never played professional baseball in North America. Whoever ends up signing Cespedes will be taking a rather large risk, but there’s no doubting the tools in the shed.
The Cubs, White Sox, Tigers and Orioles among others have expressed a desire to sign the outfielder who is free to negotiate with teams, but cannot sign a contract until he is approved by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC); a process which can sometimes take a while.
UPDATE: Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald hears that the figure offered by the Marlins was less than $40-million. Don’t you just love “reports”?