Orioles, White Sox reportedly the frontrunners for Yoenis Cespedes
Not to be forgotten amidst all the excitement of the MLB hot stove this winter is that free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is still looking for a new home.
According to a report by Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com on Tuesday, the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox have emerged as the frontrunners to sign the Cuban. Sanchez also mentions the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the San Francisco Giants, and the Texas Rangers as teams with at least exploratory interest in Cespedes.
Yoenis Cespedes market taking shape. Source: CWS & BAL emerging as leaders for now. LAA & SFG also in the mix with TX monitoring situation.
— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) December 29, 2015
Cespedes clubbed 35 home runs and 105 RBIs on a .291/.328/.542 slash line in 2015. He possesses top-tier power for a right-handed hitter and his arm in left field probably qualifies as a weapon of mass destruction.
The 30-year-old All-Star was vital to the Mets NL Pennant run last season after being acquired at the trade deadline. But it does not look like Cespedes will be returning to the Big Apple in 2016 as the Mets were only willing to sign him to an affordable short-term deal, something he was not interested in.
For the White Sox, who have already made a splash this offseason by acquiring Todd Frazier and Brett Lawrie, Cespedes would prove a major upgrade in left over 11-year MLB veteran Melky Cabrera and vault the team to surefire championship contention.
As for the Orioles, who have remained relatively quiet this winter other than the acquisition of Mark Trumbo, they definitely have the money to spend on Cespedes, especially after pulling their offer to Chris Davis.
Cespedes’ situation remains fluid and another team could swoop in for his services at the last minute. But whatever team winds up signing him better make sure that their parking lot is covered by fire insurance.
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