The Oakland A’s have been surprisingly big spenders in international free agency. It’s time to open the vaults once again, and bring in a familiar name.
Over the years, the Oakland A’s have become a force in international free agency. Since their surprise signing of Yoenis Cespedes, to their additions of Lazaro Armenteros and Robert Pauson, the A’s have become a familiar franchise when it comes to going after the best international players available.
Now, a familiar name is ready to enter the market. Yoelkis Cespedes, the 22 year old half brother of Yoenis, had defected from Cuba in June, landing in the Bahamas. There, he had been training with his brother, establishing residency, and getting ready to make the move stateside.
In theory, the younger Cespedes has options. He could theoretically enter the MLB Draft, if he felt that was the best option. Or he could play in Japan for a year or two, then come stateside. Or, he could take the more traditional approach, and sign during the upcoming international free agency period.
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Cespedes had been a known commodity during his time in Cuba. He was a line drive hitter who used the entire ballpark, possessing excellent speed and a solid glove in center. He also had his brother’s arm, showing flashes of brilliance during the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
His body type has changed since that time. Since landing in the Bahamas and training with his brother, Cespedes has reportedly gained 15 pounds of muscle while reworking his swing. The ability to hit to all fields remains, but he has added a lot more thunder to the bat, resembling Yoenis in the batter’s box.
The potential for another player similar to Yoenis, albeit younger and with more time under team control, is certainly intriguing. For the A’s, who have been able to stockpile young talent, Cespedes would be an interesting addition. Given the team’s familiarity with the family, and how they were the ones to give his older brother a chance, the A’s could land a familiar name.
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The Oakland A’s have been a force in international free agency over the years. It’s time to open the vaults once more, with a familiar name coming home.