Cuban center fielder Yoenis Cespedes, who defected mid-summer and expects soon to be cleared for free agency, is being billed by his agents as the hitting version of Aroldis Chapman and is seeking a contract similar to the $30 million the left-handed pitcher received in 2010, according to two sources familiar with the asking price.
The New York Yankees are particularly hot for the right-handed Cespedes, according to one source who attended an open workout Friday in the Dominican Republic, where he compared Cespedes to Los Angeles Angels top prospect Mike Trout for their similar size, speed and potential.
Just in case Cespedes’ showcase wasn’t convincing enough, his handlers produced a promotional video so hilarious, ostentatious and downright odd that, at very least, will ensure teams know exactly who he is.
In an email obtained by Yahoo! Sports, Edgar Mercedes, the Dominican trainer who along with agent Adam Katz represents Cespedes, circulated a link to the video that starts with a “Star Wars” rip-off and includes Christopher Cross’ 1980 hit “Sailing.” It shows Cespedes giving what could be the longest stare at a home run ever and making two blind, behind-the-back catches. It name-drops Ahman Green, showcases a giant shirtless man dancing and ends with a whole hog roasting on a spit.
The 20-minute video, which as of Sunday night had been viewed only by 200 or so people in the baseball industry, is a love letter to Cespedes, who claims to be 26 years old (ages of Cuban defectors have been notoriously inaccurate) . 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.”
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