The New York Yankees are very interested in Cuban defector, center fielder Yoenis Cespedes.
Cespedes, who defected from Cuba this summer, is seeking a contract similar to the one Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman received in 2010, at least $30 million.
The six foot, 215 pound center fielder has drawn interest from the Yankees because of his raw power and defensive skills. Cespedes tied the Cuban record for home runs in a season with 33 in 90 games.
A video that has circulated among baseball minds shows Cespedes amazing opposite field strength and making behind the back catches, a la Jim Edmonds in his hey day. Cespedes, 26, but disputed, is also seen in the video running a 60 yard dash in 6.5 seconds and his compared to high touted Los Angeles Angels prospect Mike Trout.
His contract demand is not outrageous, he has demonstrated on the video that he could be a superstar for years to come. The Texas Rangers signed a Cuban center fielder, Leonys Martin, to a five year, $15.5 million deal and he is not nearly as talented as Cespedes.
When signing foreign talents you need to take caution. Look at Jose Contreras, Hideki Irabu, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Kei Igawa. They all have been busts after being stars in leagues in their home countries. Also, when signing a Cuban defector take age in consideration. Cuban defectors are notorious for changing their age in hopes for a Major League deal.
Will Yoenis Cespedes be a star? Only time will tell, but if the stories are true about him, the Yankees might have a new superstar on their hands.