Yoenis Cespedes, the 26-year-old Cuban outfielder, agreed to terms Monday on a contract with the Oakland Athletics. Cespedes signed a four-year deal worth $36 million.
The former star of the Cuban national team defected from his home country last summer and was granted residency in the Dominican Republic in January, clearing the way for his free agency.More From Tim BrownYoenis Cespedes batted an impressive .458 for Cuba during the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
The A’s are believed to have outbid the Miami Marlins, for weeks considered the frontrunners to sign Cespedes, who visited the club and its facilities last week.
The 6-foot, 215-pound Cespedes played eight seasons for Granma in the Cuban league. He hit a record 33 home runs in 2011. As Cuba’s starting center fielder in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, he batted .458 in six games. In his first real competition since late last spring, Cespedes batted .143 in a brief stint with Aguilas Cibaenas in the Dominican Winter League.
How his previous success – or his well-known showcase video – translates into the major leagues and Oakland’s lineup remains to be seen.
February 13, 2012