Cuban refugee Yoenis Cespedes has finally ended the infatuation many teams have had for him for months, and he’s signed with the Oakland Athletics. The terms are four years, and $36 million. Yahoo’s Tim Brown first reported the signing, while ESPN’s Buster Olney reported the terms.
The A’s weren’t really a player in the Cespedes talks that we knew about. Most sources had the Marlins and Cubs as the odds-on favorites to sign the 26 year-old, but much like they did with Michael Ynoa a few years ago, Oakland swooped in at the last minute and made the best offer for the youngster.
Cespedes is the masher that the A’s were looking for in their outfield, which until today, featured a host of platoon players like Collin Cowgill, Jonny Gomes, Seth Smith, and Josh Reddick in the corners with Coco Crisp starting in center.
It’s also worth noting that the $36 million that Oakland will pay Cespedes over the next four years is slightly less than the $38.7 million committed to payroll this season for the A’s. Many were speculating that Cespedes’s value would drop this offseason after he struggled in the Dominican Winter League this offseaon, but that didn’t really happen, given Oakland’s interest. Florida’s offer for Cespedes was apparently for six years and $36 million, so it’s clear that he chose the bigger money offer that will allow him to hit free agency again when he’s entering his prime.