Billy Beane continued his offseason of shocking moves.
After acquiring a plethora of prospects while trading away three All-Star pitchers, Beane made the biggest splash of all by sneaking in and agreeing to a deal with Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, one of the most coveted players on the market this offseason.
The right-handed Cespedes just made a trip to the States and on Friday, Yahoo Sports reported that the 26-year-old may have only visited with the Miami Marlins, long considered the favorite to sign the Cuban defector.
The deal with the A’s is reportedly a four-year, $36 million deal. Cespedes will most likely compete for the center field job in Spring Training.
There is some debate as to whether Cespedes is major-league ready or if he needs some time in the minor leagues.
Kevin Goldstein, a writer for BaseballProspect.com, released his Top 101 prospects early this morning, prior to the signing, and noted that Cespedes would rank as the #20 prospect in baseball.
The A’s have been looking for a bat for the last few weeks. They’ve been linked to Manny Ramirez, who will face a 50-game suspension if he signs with a team. Instead, they decided to invest in a young, impact bat that could turn into a superstar.
Definitely a shocking move, but the kind of move the A’s needed to make. For the next few years, they are going to have a tough time convincing major league free agents to sign with them. Cespedes has the potential to develop into a hitter that the A’s need in the middle of their lineup.