The Florida Marlins are intent on making a big splash this off-season. They want to prove to the fans of Miami that they have changed and are willing to spend money this off-season to build a strong team heading into their brand new ballpark in 2012. The Marlins have been linked to Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Jose Reyes, C.J. Wilson, and hell, there was even some speculation about the Marlins having interest in C.C. Sabathia. We have not heard much interest from the Marlins part on Yu Darvish. However today, there is a report out there that the Marlins may have their eye on another International player, Yoenis Cespedes.
The Florida Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies are also expected to vie for Cespedes, a major league official said.
Juan Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel is reporting that the Marlins are the early favorites for his services.
Cespedes is a a 26-year-old Cuban defector. He plays center field, a position the Marlins are looking to upgrade at. He is known as a power hitter and possess a lot of speed. Last season in Cuba, Cespedes set a league record with 33 home runs and slugged at an astounding .667. Equally impressive, Cespedes had two home runs and smashed three triples in six games in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Scouts say that he looks like a football player. Wait, does that not sound like someone else the Marlins have now? Mike Stanton says hi. It would certainly make the Marlins outfield one of the most entertaining and talented out there. Cespedes does not profile as a lead off hitter, rather a middle of the order guy. This would likely mean the Marlins would shift Emilio Bonifacio to third base. While Bonifacio is not a good fielder at third at all, he is a lot more likely to produce positively for the Marlins then Matt Dominguez will in 2012.
So what will it take to get this Cuban defect to Miami?
Well, the price maybe pretty steep. Remember Aroldis Chapman? He signed with the Cincinnati Reds for $30.25 million over six years. The Marlins were willing to bid $20 million for Chapman. Cespedes is expected to receive a contract of more than$30 million for five years, including a rich signing bonus. Cespedes would be a better fit for the Marlins then Chapman was.
If the Marlins are indeed interested in Cespedes, I think they should move him to the top of their list. The Marlins should go out and spend as much money as they need to get this guy. While yes it is a major risk for an unproven player, but the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. Sorry for the cliche, but this holds true in this situatuon. The Marlins have a pressing need in center field. That is one of their goals of the off-season, to fill the hole in center. Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder are great players, but the Marlins do not have a hole at first. If the Marlins can add Cespedes, they would not be majorly breaking the bank and they could still have a chance to add a starting pitcher, like C.J. Wilson and maybe a top of the line closer, like Heath Bell.
Overall, this guy fits what the Marlins need. A big Hispanic name that will draw fans as well as be a major producer on the field. He is young and would be an excellent fit on the Marlins. This is the guy the Marlins need to make a hard run after. He has moved to the top of my list as the player I want the most. Go get it done Beinfest.