The signing of Yoenis Cespedes by the A’s on Monday was something that I never saw coming. In fact, I had not heard of him until the signing but after looking through what he has in store and what the A’s paid to get him, I think it was a strong move.
Cespedes is known as a five-tool player and has the potential to become a big star in the big leagues. He is considered one of the top stars to ever come out of Cuba and with the A’s needing some kind of offensive spark, this signing looks to be a great deal.
The first thing that I looked at was his contract. It’s a four-year deal for $36 million. That means he will earn $6.5 million in 2012, $8.5 million next season and $10.5 million in each of the final two years.
That’s a really good steal, especially in the first two seasons of the contract. It’s not too expensive and gives the team some room to work around it if he doesn’t work out.
What is most important about the deal is that the A’s are banking on the hope of Cespedes’ potential success with the team. He can be that big power bat the team needed and at the price they’re paying to get him, it’s a true steal.
Also, this is a hope that the A’s could be rebuilding towards that third year of Cespedes’ contract, in which by then there could be enough buzz for the team’s potential move to San Jose.
So the end result for the A’s really is that it’s all on hope for a player that has never played in the majors to live up to expectations. Add that to the potential signing of Manny Ramirez and maybe this A’s team could be something decent.
It’s all potential for the A’s this season. They won’t be real contenders against Texas or Anaheim, but at least with their current roster, they can build it into something in a couple years.
They’re not going to need to try to attract a big free agent to beef up their lineup. Instead, the team is hoping that their current core can grow and into a decent lineup and Cespedes could be that power bat.
After all, this A’s team can only work with so much. And part of this signing hinges on the hope that San Jose does happen and the A’s have a good team right as they move in. With so little to work with, the team is still hoping and working for something bigger and better.
One concern about Cespedes is not his defense, but how he handles himself with a bat. He has never faced pitching like he’ll see in the big leagues and the adjustment period for some players could be immediate while others could take some time. I would like to think that Spring Training may be the biggest challenge for Cespedes to get himself acclimated.
But if he plays well enough during the spring, he might have already earned himself a spot on the opening day lineup card. His best position is center, but I think that remains Coco Crisp’s spot. The corner outfield positions will be decided between Cespedes and Seth Smith. I like Michael Taylor a lot, but I think the A’s want to see what this outfield can do first.
Even though the A’s are not expected to have a real good season, I am still excited at the potential this team has moving forward.