Just when you think that you have A.J. Preller all figured out you hear crazy rumors that make you realize you know nothing about him at all. The San Diego Union Tribune reports that the San Diego Padres are monitoring the free agent market for Yoenis Cespedes who still remains unsigned. Could this and should this even be considered?
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The Baltimore Orioles were highly rumored to be the favorite landing spot for Cespedes, though after they re-signed Chris Davis this seems unlikely. The Braves remain candidates as well and of course I’m sure Mets fans would be very happy for him to come back to the team he helped lead to the World Series.
Dennis Lin of the UT remarks that the signing of Cespedes by the Padres would be unlikely, though after Justin Upton signed with the Tigers this weekend. Right now the current left field options for the Padres include newly acquired Jon Jay, Alex Dickerson (8 career AB’s) and Rule 5 pick-up Jabari Blush. Not exactly exciting options to start spring training.
Cespedes is reportedly looking for a six year deal that would pay him over $20M a year. Given the Padres large financial commitments already on the books for James Shields, Matt Kemp, and even Melvin Upton Jr., this seems like a pretty big gamble though Cespedes has shown nothing but consistent success since coming over to the A’s from Cuba.
He was traded last year to the Mets from the Tigers mid-season and revitalized a moribund Mets offense. Despite slowing down throughout the playoffs, teammate David Murphy carried the load in the NLCS to lead his team to the World Series before losing to the Royals.
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The Padres to this point in the off-season have avoided trading their big three starting pitchers of Shields, Andrew Cashner, and Tyson Ross. They have their shortstop in Alexei Ramirez and are counting on a full healthy season from Wil Myers at first base after trading away Yonder Alonso. With another good year from Matt Kemp Cespedes would certainly change the entire complexion of the lineup.
In the end though, I think Preller is smart enough to try and go younger where possible and if he did want to spend the money like this – it would’ve made more sense to just try and re-sign Justin Upton even though that would’ve cost a draft pick after he rejected their qualifying offer.