The Yoenis Cespedes signing situation just got a lot more interesting, as the Washington Nationals can be added to the list of teams hoping to sign the Cuban outfielder, putting in an offer.
Cespedes remains the only big name on the free agency market after Justin Upton was signed by the Detroit Tigers. Cespedes was hoping to get around $22 million a season with at least five years on the deal, but right now he’s not getting these kind of offers. The Orioles offered him $90 million for five years before re-signing Chris Davis, which probably means they’re out of the contest for Cespedes. Upton got $132 million for six years, and the Nationals offer is said to be lower than that.
Like all of the other options, Cespedes isn’t the perfect fit in Washington. Out of their outfield positions, the biggest upgrade they need is at center field, but Cespedes isn’t great defending there. He’s better suited in one of the corners, which means either moving Bryce Harper, an MVP, or benching Jayson Werth, who is making $21 million a year and the Nationals seem to be stuck with him. He has a no-trade clause and hasn’t been very productive.
And then there’s centerfield. The Nationals traded for Ben Revere to pair with Michael A. Taylor. Obviously, Cespedes is an upgrade, and they can always move Revere again or do the same with Taylor while assuming Cespedes is much better than both. But as we mentioned, he’s had his struggled in that specific position, so maybe moving Harper to center, where his youth and athleticism might come in handy, with scouts believing he can handle the position, although he is best suited for playing off the corner.
There are a lot of variables in the Cespedes situation. A lot of teams after him, including the San Diego Padres, new to the whole story, along with the Chicago White Sox, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Angels and maybe more waiting a little bit more quietly. However, nothing seems to be a perfect fit for a player who might have been better off taking an offer earlier in the offseason. Now, he might not want it, but who knows; maybe the best offer for him is taking a one or two year deal to go back with the New York Mets.