McCullough: Mets had a scout at Cespedes’ workout last week

UPDATED 11/8 @ 10:17 p.m.

From the due diligence file: Mets had a scout at Yoennis Cespedes' DR workout last week. But so did a lot of teams. http://t.co/bfgwYHVC
@Ledger_NYMets
Andy McCullough


ORIGINAL POST 11/7 @ 3:09 p.m.

I Read Three Articles, And Now I Want Him to Play CF in the Citi

Who is he?

He is Yoenis Cespedes.

Why do I want him playing CF in CitiField next year after ONLY reading three articles about him, and basically hearing about him for the first time this morning?  Two words…Mike Trout.

(For reference: the articles that I read this morning about the player are as follows: This one, this one and finally this one, – Also note that he apparently has an amazingly hilarious scouting video that has since been pulled from youtube but is detailed in the article by Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports)

Cespedes is being compared to Mike Trout, and Mike Trout is considered by many to be the top prospect in all of baseball.  The reason Cespedes is being compared to Trout is mostly because of his intriguing combination of speed and power.  How much power does he have, you ask?  Well, according to Passan, “Cespedes tied the single-season home run record in Cuba’s top league, Serie Nacional, during the 2010-11 season with 33 in 90 games and, according to a scout who attended the workout, ‘is going to be a star.’”  There are a couple of interesting pieces of information in that sentence.  One being, that a scout who attended his try out is already saying the guy “is going to be a star”.  Perhaps even more compelling is that Cespedes hit a homer every 2.7 games he played in Cuba’s top league.  Now, I know it’s ridiculous to pull that rate accross to 162 games, BUT, just for fun…That rate yields ROUGHLY 60 homers.  Now, clearly, no one would expect that out of Cespedes, who is listed at 26 years old (obviously this isn’t guaranteed to be accurate, as we’ve been burned believing ages of players out of Cuba before), but you can’t tell me that anything near 30 homers out of the centerfield position in CitiField wouldn’t be awesome.  And as if his power potential alone isn’t enough, the guy is also considered to be very quick and a plus defender.

Even despite the reports that the Marlins have the inside track on this guy and that the Yankees “are particularly hot for the right-handed Cespedes, according to Passan, I would love to at least hear that the Mets are looking into trying to steal this guy out from under other organizations.  But here’s my favorite part about Cespedes…he reportedly would be looking for a contract in the vein of what Aroldis Chapman received (5 years/$25.25 million according to baseballreference.com).  So, why is that the kicker?  Because Angel Pagan could potentially cost the Mets the same amount to keep, and Angel won’t hit 30 homers, and we’ve all seen Angel misplay balls in centerfield.  The upside is SO high that this player could be a game-changer for an organization and I think we can all agree that the Mets need to “change the game”.

Admittedly, the Mets aren’t even mentioned in the articles that I read as even being involved in the race for this guy, but with those kind of reports how can they not be interested?  And they have to be, because this is the type of signing that could change a franchise.  He won’t require giving up a draft pick to sign, would bring a sense of hope back to the franchise while setting a much different tone for this off-season than we’ve seen so far.  If Cespedes becomes a 30/30 guy, or even a 20/20 CF who is a plus fielder, that will change any team, let alone a New York franchise that has a potential hole to fill in CF, an angry fan base and a Jose Reyes to try to lure back.

So, while I realize that Cespedes may be older than we think, may not ACTUALLY be as good as advertised and could potentially cost more than $5 million a year…What if he is better than advertised?  What if he becomes a 30/30 player and the Mets do not at least make an attempt to sign him?  And what if he becomes that player for the Marlins (Miguel Cabrera II), or WORSE, the Yankees.  Now, I know the Mets don’t think they have the money to spend on this guy right now, but if he’s going to cost annually what it would cost to keep Angel Pagan, or LESS than what it would cost to sign a player like Grady Sizemore…Isn’t that a risk a Mets fan think the organization SHOULD take?

At the end of the day $5 million/year for an international free agent that WOULDN’T require giving up a draft pick, draws comparisons to the best prospect in the majors and would fill a need should undoubtedly be on Sandy Alderson’s list.  I just want to know the Mets are at least considering making a run at Cespedes, because he could be a game-changing signing…

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