Wednesday, December 21, 2011

White Sox Worked Out Yoenis Cespedes


If you know who Yoenis Cespedes is, odds are you came across him by seeing the most amazing training video that was every created. It's basically the Citizen Kane of training films.

If you haven't seen it, by all means, watch below. I can wait.



It was pretty much the greatest 20 minutes of your life, right?

Anyway, Cespedes is the hot new Cuban import, who you may have noticed over the past decade come a lot cheaper than Japanese players like Yu Darvish and also have a better track record of success.

Well, just because Cespedes won't cost $50 million just for the right to negotiate with him, with so many teams interested, odds are he won't come that cheap. Which, naturally, given that whole rebuilding and salary shedding thing that the White Sox are doing this winter, knocks them out of the running.

Or at least, so I thought. But then I ran across this little tidbit from Danny Knobler at CBSSports.com (I hear that it's a great site).
Also, word in the international scouting community is that the White Sox watched Cespedes in a private workout recently. The White Sox have had recent success with Cuban players, having signed Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo.
Hwuuh?

This caught me so off guard that I'm not really sure what to think of it. The Sox have had pretty good success with Cuban players, as you can argue signing Alexei Ramirez was the best "draft pick" the Sox have had in forever. Then there's Dayan Viciedo who has the potential to be in the middle of the team's lineups for years.

Then there was Jose Contreras and Orlando Hernandez, but the Sox didn't sign them originally.

So with that in mind, hell yes, if Cespedes is the real deal, then the fact the Sox are interested in him does excite me.

At the same time, though, what the hell does all this mean?

By most accounts, the bidding for Cespedes is probably going to involve many different teams, and that's going to drive the price up.  Which isn't exactly the type of thing a rebuilding club does.

You don't save money by spending more of it.

Which is why I think this is just the case of the White Sox doing due diligence. Check him out, see what he can do. If interested, put in an offer and hope he accepts it but expect him not to.

And while the Sox can use their success with Cuban players as a selling point for Cespedes, we really don't know if that will work now that Ozzie is gone. While he's a nice guy, I'm not sure Robin Ventura can relate to Cespedes the way Guillen could have.

Another reason why it's not much of a shock to see that the Marlins are considered the front-runner for him. Combine the city with the manager, and the Marlins are probably the only team who would get some kind of "discount."

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