The Oakland A’s made a surprising move when they came in and signed Cuban sensation, Yoenis Cespedes to a four year deal.
The 26-year-old outfielder was expected to sign with the Miami Marlins after visiting their new stadium and talking to club personnel. However, the A’s added Cespedes for $36 million, which just adds to a crazy offseason for Oakland.
Billy Beane made typical A’s moves by trading away young and talented pitchers Gio Gonzalez, Andrew Bailey and Trevor Cahill. In a typical Beane trade, the A’s received talented prospects, most notably pitchers A.J. Cole, Jarrod Parker, Brad Peacock and catcher Derek Norris. It is hard giving away the talent of Gonzalez, Cahill and Bailey, but the talent they received in return should help for years to come if the A’s keep them.
The real issue here is the A’s outfield. Before signing Cespedes, Oakland already had Seth Smith, Coco Crisp, Josh Reddick (acquired in the Bailey trade), Jonny Gomes and two youngsters in Michael Choice and Colin Cowgill to roam in their outfield. Where does Cespedes fit? Billy Beane has been said to see Cespedes as a center fielder, yet they overspent their money by giving another center fielder, Coco Crisp, a two-year $14 million contract with a club option for 2014. If Oakland was really courting Cespedes for a long time, then why would they spend their money on Crisp?
Although they have taken a risk on Cespedes, Oakland must find a way to get him in the lineup. There is simply no denying his huge potential. Cespedes hit .333 with a record 33 bombs and 99 RBIs while playing in Cuba in the 2010-11 season. In 2009, he hit .458 in six games as Cuba’s starting center fielder in the World Baseball Classic.
It will be interesting to see what Oakland does with Cespedes. Will he play in the minors or go straight to the bigs? Will he play center or be a corner outfielder? The deal that will make or break Beane’s decision to sign Cespedes will be if he turns into Bo or just Willy Mo. Cespedes adds to a crazy offseason by the A’s and can be just the beginning of some more Billy Beane magic.