7 teams that should sign free-agent slugger Yoenis Cespedes
It’s mid-January and Yoenis Cespedes remains unsigned. With just over a month before pitchers and catchers report to spring training, his price figures to be dropping. That has resulted in reports that the Mets might have a chance to retain him after all, and it even has created interest from teams -- the Braves, for example -- not thought to be in the market for the slugger. There are plenty of contenders who would be great fits for Cespedes, including these seven squads.
Getty ImagesMike Stobe
Why the Mets need Yoenis Cespedes
The Mets were last in the majors in runs per game (3.54) and OPS (.662) before Cespedes joined their lineup Aug. 1. In the final two months of the regular season, they ranked third in runs per game (5.39) and second in OPS (.794). They still badly need his bat -- it produced a .942 OPS, 17 homers and 44 RBI in 57 games for them last season -- and they should find a way to fit him into their budget.
Getty ImagesJim McIsaac
Why the Cardinals need Yoenis Cespedes
The Cardinals haven’t replaced right fielder Jason Heyward, at least not externally. And there are differing views (FOX's Ken Rosenthal says maybe not; FanGraphs's Dave Cameron says definitely yes) about whether they need to do so. For now, St. Louis has Randal Grichuk in center and Stephen Piscotty in right. But the team could get creative with both youngsters in 2016 if it were to add Cespedes, especially since it is the final season of Matt Holliday’s contract.
Getty ImagesJeff Curry
Why the Tigers need Yoenis Cespedes
Any thoughts of the Tigers going into rebuild mode this season were quickly squashed with the signing of right-hander Jordan Zimmermann and the acquisitions of center fielder Cameron Maybin and closer Francisco Rodriguez. Detroit could use one more outfielder and obviously is aware of the impact Cespedes can make; he hit .292/.323/.506 with 18 homers and 61 RBI for the Tigers last season before he was dealt to the Mets on July 31.
Getty ImagesBrian Blanco
Why the Orioles need Yoenis Cespedes
The ongoing Chris Davis saga hasn’t hurt the Orioles yet because other elite bats remain available in trades and free agency. However, the team can’t wait forever on Davis and needs at least one corner outfielder; Baltimore's left fielders ranked a collective 27th in the majors in OPS last season. A Cespedes-Manny Machado-Adam Jones trio would be very comparable to a Davis-Machado-Jones trio. And MASN.com reported Thursday that the Orioles have made an offer to Cespdes.
Getty ImagesMitchell Layton
Why the Indians need Yoenis Cespedes
With Michael Brantley possibly sidelined until June because of offseason shoulder surgery, there is a clear need for outfield help. And that actually was the case even before Brantley’s procedure; converted third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall currently is atop the depth chart in right field. Cleveland has the starting pitching necessary to contend, and signing Cespedes would prevent it from having to deal a starter to acquire an outfield bat.
Getty ImagesJason Miller
Why the Angels need Yoenis Cespedes
As many have bemoaned, the Angels are in danger of wasting Mike Trout’s prime years by not putting a playoff-caliber team around him. Trout has reached the postseason just once (2014), when the Angels were swept in the ALDS by the Royals. An outfield of Cespedes, Trout and Cole Calhoun sounds pretty good -- if Los Angeles is willing to spend to make it happen. There also are rotation concerns, but the Angels could mask those deficiencies by scoring more.
Getty ImagesMatt Brown
Why the White Sox need Yoenis Cespedes
The White Sox seemingly have been on the periphery of the big-bat market all offseason, reportedly willing to strike on a team-friendly, short-term contract. And we might be getting close to that point. An outfield featuring Cespedes, Adam Eaton and Melky Cabrera would put a stamp on a productive offseason that has seen the team add third baseman Todd Frazier and second baseman Brett Lawrie. With Chris Sale atop an underrated rotation, the White Sox could really make some noise if they add Cespedes.