Cespedes signs with Athletics

The Oakland A's, not even mentioned as a possible option, land Yoenis Cespedes. (Denis Poroy/AP)

MLB Trade Rumors reported at 11:12 AM CST that the Oakland A’s won the bidding for 26-year-old, Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes. The deal is reportedly a four-year, $36MM contract that will allow him to enter free agency at the age of 30. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Cespedes will earn $6.5MM in 2012, $8.5MM in 2013 and $10.5MM in the final two years of the contract.

Cespedes is considered to be a five-tool player who became a household name in 2010 after an overly embellished highlight reel reached YouTube. While Cespedes has been primarily a center fielder during his career, the A’s signed incumbent center fielder Coco Crisp to a two-year deal during the offseason, which means the Cuban superstar will most likely handle a corner outfield spot in Oakland.

The Athletics were not known to be in the running for the prospect, rather the Marlins, Orioles, White Sox, Cubs and Tigers were expected to land Cespedes with a four-year deal worth anywhere between $40-60MM. It was strongly considered by insiders that the Marlins were frontrunners to land Cespedes, especially after he visited Miami’s new ballpark last week and stated “Hopefully, I can play for the Miami Marlins.” It was reported that the Marlins offered Cespedes the same $36MM, but over six years vs. Oakland’s four-year deal.

With the signing, Athletics GM Billy Beane satisfied an outfield need after the departures of David DeJesus and Josh Willingham. With the signing, Beane also makes Cespedes Oakland’s highest-paid player on the 2012 roster.

Contributor: Jon Sumple

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