Yoennis Cespedes in RF
posted at 11/15/2011 10:40 AM EST
It's one of my favorite times of year again, "Hot Stove" season, a time when many armchair GM's begin looking closely into how we would personally like to next seasons roster assembled. Personally, the more I think about it I would really love to see the Sox strongly pursue the Cuban kid Yoennis Cespedes for their righfield vacancy.
Naturally there may be some apprehension about shelling out free agent dollars for a guy that may or may not still need a little minor league seasoning, but in my opinion it just seems like there could be potential for great value there, not only in the short term but for the long as well.
As we all know Fenway has one of the toughest righfields to play defensively in all of baseball, Cespedes presumably has CF type speed but still may be better suited for a corner spot in the majors. Still, range-wise he could cover some serious ground in Fenway's spacious RF, while also having a plus throwing arm. Offensively he offers that sorely needed pop from the right side of the plate, helping balance out the lineup a bit more. Personally, I'm far more tempted by Cespedes' 5 tool potential than I would be for someone like Cuddyer or Willingham (maybe even Beltran depending on the eventual salary comparisons).
If indeed it's true whats being reported, that Cespedes is seeking a deal similar to that of Aroldis Chapman (6 yrs/30 mil), I'd say that could potentially end up a bargain in coming years as the guy is still only 26 and seemingly entering what be his prime years physically. Regardless of his kooky internet workout video, I actually would at least feel a lil better about investing 30 million dollars in a young guy that appears obsessive about his fitness and conditioning, rather than overpaying for past production from dudes already in there lower 30's (like Cuddyer). 30 million, heck JD cost damn near half that last season alone.
With Cespedes they could then package Kalish and/or Reddick with something else and maybe get another serviceable arm, keeping the other as depth behind Cespedes. Although if they did bring him in, they would almost certainly wanna bring back Papi for another 2 years. Not only for his production but to serve as a mentor to their young investment, giving the kid a highly respected latin player he can relate to as he transitions into big league life in the United States.
In all honesty, all of this is more than likely a moot point anyhow because Cespedes will most likely be signed by either the Yankees or Marlins. If Cashman makes up his mind up that he really likes what he sees, then forget about it, the Yanks will outbid everyone (not to mention the whole allure of playing in NY, the Yankee mystique, etc). Either that or the new look Marlins who are increasing payroll and in on just about every big FA out there. If the dollars are all around equal, I could see the presence of Ozzie Guillen and Hanley Ramirez being factors. New ballpark, and Miami has the most sizeable Cuban population in America, if Cespedes pans out he could end up a huge draw for them, and I'm sure they realize it and will go hard for him. I guess we shouldnt count out our old pal Theo in Chicago as somewhat of a darkhorse...the Cubs are about to do their private workout with him, and you never know, it could possibly be one of Theo's splash moves.
Anyway, just enjoy dreaming about the all the possibilities this time of year :)