Cuban slugger worth risk for Marlins

Will Manso Speaks His Mind

By Will Manso - Sports Director
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He's big, strong, raw and supremely talented.  26-year old Cuban slugger Yoenis Cespedes has all the tools that make a superstar baseball player. 

He also happens to be a real unknown.  While he projects to be a star outfielder, no one really knows how he'll handle becoming a big league player.  The Marlins are ready to take that risk, and I totally agree that it's worth it.

Cespedes has just gained his residency in the Dominican Republic, and according to his agent, Major League Baseball has officially declared him a free agent.  Now, the Marlins are expected to make him a significant offer.

Team President David Samson doesn't hide the fact Miami will make an offer, but also makes it clear it won't be wise to get into a bidding war with other teams.  The Marlins have a range of what they believe Cespedes is worth, and I'm told it will be a pretty big deal.

Also, Cespedes loves the fact Miami has such a large Hispanic community.  Remember, the transition from playing in Cuba to playing in the United States isn't just about adjusting on the field.  The comfort of having the larger Latin community will certainly be a positive in where Cespedes decides to go.

You're probably wondering how good is Cespedes?  Well, I've only watched him on video, but I have spoken to a handful of people who've watched him play live, and they believe he projects to becoming an all-star.  He's potentially a Sammy Sosa like player with a rare combination of power and speed.

He's been playing in the Dominican and shown he clearly has to adjust to off-speed pitches, but the Marlins have been impressed with everything else.

Simply put, Miami wants Cespedes.  They will make him an offer and whether he comes to the Fish will all depend on what other offers he gets.  I would consider the Marlins to be the favorites, and I think he would be a perfect fit in the team's future plans at centerfield.

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