Yoennis Céspedes is a Cuban baseball player who defected after the 2011 season. He is now a free agent and free to sign with any team.
Salary Command: IFA from Cuba could sign a deal similar to the one Aroldis Chapman received a few seasons ago.
Hypothetical Deal: 6 yrs; $35-$40 million dollars
Lost Compensation: None
Plus: The YouTube wonder has hit the stage and made everyone drool watching him and his abundance of tools. He has shown power production and in limited international exposure the ability to become a five tool player. He shows tremendous bat speed and is highly athletic, enough so that some feel safely about sticking him in center field. He is just entering his prime and might need a short time adjusting to a major league program. He has vast upside that can be had without committing the $100 million dollars that would come normally. He would be locked into service time until he is 32 years old and you will get the best years out of him for very cheap. As much as I hate throwing out comps, I see a bit of Vladimir Guerrero type athletic ability in Cespedes.
Minus: The Vlad comparisons are tied to workouts, and trust me all athletic guys look good in shorts and t-shirts. He is limited in international exposure and his Cuban league is no longer considered as prosper with legitimate talent across the landscape as it was in the recent pasts. He is the total risk/reward type free agent. The tools show up on the tape, but does he handle pitch recognition? Will the pitchers who throw upper 90s fastballs with ball on string change ups keep him from enough contact to reach the power potential? He could end up being a Juan Rivera type player, just as much as the superstar that showed up for 20 minutes of edited video.