In what has always felt like a long shot, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reported this morning that, along with the Baltimore Orioles, the Chicago White Sox are now frontrunners for outfielder Yoenis 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
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal (who also noted Chicago’s continued interest in Alex Gordon) first mentioned the team’s interest earlier in the day and things seem to have quickly escalated from there.
Cespedes, 30, has always been on the eye of MLB teams since first coming into the league in 2012 for the Oakland Athletics. The hard hitting Cuban left fielder with a rocket arm has a career slash line of .271/.319/.486 to go along with his 251 extra base hits and 367 RBIs in four seasons. He has done well with every team played for, but 2015 with the Detroit Tigers and New York Mets was his best by far, clubbing .291 and hitting a career best 35 home runs with 105 RBIs.
There are still some unsettled issues with the White Sox as a club, however, in that Melky Cabrera or Avisail Garcia would most likely lose playing time. There is also a “money issue.” As I was told on Twitter this morning, “The team has a lot of money; Why should that matter?” But in a world of no salary cap restrictions and only a luxury tax set by Major League Baseball, self-imposed salary caps are the norm.
Some team owners don’t want to spend as much as others do, and general managers need to follow these monetary guidelines as a “cap.” Large amounts of money are still owed to some players such as Adam LaRoche, whom the White Sox would love to move and get off the books to make room for more worthy assets.
The Orioles can’t be counted out though, needing to possibly replace sought after Chris Davis, who still isn’t biting on their contract offers.
There’s still a little less than two months before players report for Spring Training, but don’t expect this to take that long, especially with Chicago’s South Siders chomping at the bit for a re-entry into baseball’s winning ways.