Will: Cespedes not vital in Marlins plans

Team was ready to move on

Author: Will Manso, Sports Director, wmanso@Local10.com
Published On: Feb 13 2012 09:48:12 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 13 2012 09:50:20 PM EST

For weeks now, I've spent time here telling you how the Marlins were the frontrunner to land Cuban slugger Yeonis Cespedes.

Well, guess what?  They were the favorites, until the Oakland A's offered a better deal, and simply put; the Marlins were ready to move on.

In speaking today with the team's VP of Baseball Larry Beinfest, its clear the team made the offer it wanted.  It's been reported as a 6 year deal worth 36 million dollars, but Beinfest would not confirm that.

What he did confirm is the Fish really did want Cespedes, but they were not going to get caught up in a bidding war.  They made a good offer, but the A's made a better one.  Oakland is giving the Cuban outfielder the same 36 million dollars the Marlins offered, but they're giving it over the course of just 4 years.

I can't blame Cespedes for taking the better deal, even though the whole "he'd like to play in Miami" angle was blown a bit out of proportion by the 26-year old during his visit to South Florida.

Cespedes and his agents didn't care about South Florida's big Latin community.  They only cared about the money.  Meantime, so did the Marlins, but in a responsible way.  They set a budget and didn't budge.  End of story.

While I think Cespedes would have been worth the risk, kudos to the team for sticking to a plan.  They pursued him and it didn't work out.  Now they'll stick with Emilio Bonifacio at centerfield, and quite frankly, that's not a bad thing.

Bonifacio really came on last season, and Ozzie Guillen is thrilled with the potential of a Jose Reyes-Bonifacio top of the order for 2012.