A pretty eventful day with a few big notes from around the American League:
From Ben Nicholson-Smith at MLB Trade rumours:
-The Athletics made an unexpected move today, agreeing to terms with Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes on a four-year, $36MM contract. The agreement allows him to hit free agency after the 2015 season and leaves suitors such as the Marlins and Cubs empty-handed.
Here are some reactions to the deal…
Cespedes told Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com that he’s “super happy” and that his first goal is to make the team and stay healthy all season long.
Agent Adam Katz told Kevin Kennedy and Jim Duquette on MLB Network Radio that four to seven teams were seriously interested.
A’s director of player personnel Billy Owens told Jim Bowden and Casey Stern on MLB Network Radio that Oakland’s scouts have watched Cespedes play for four or five years and consider him a center fielder.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports weighs in on the deal and explains why Cespedes remains an unknown, even though we’ve seen his skills on YouTube.
One A’s person told Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com that the club is “not trying to finish in last place” and explained that free agents are reluctant to take Oakland’s money.
Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus hears that Katz sought either an eight-to-ten-year deal or a four-year deal and suggests Cespedes’ tools are as impressive as any player’s.
The Tigers were interested in Cespedes, but not at $36MM, GM Dave Dombrowski said, according to James Schmehl of MLive.com.
Word was the Jays were interested but it seems doubtful they were even close given the final contract numbers handed out to the Cuban outfielder.
-“Vladimir Guerrero has made it known to the Yankees that he wants their DH spot,” tweets ESPN’s Buster Olney, but Raul Ibanez remains the frontrunner. Ibanez had a slightly worse 2011 season, but the Yankees seem to prefer his left-handed bat.
-Hours before today’s arbitration hearing, the Red Sox and designated hitter David Ortiz settled at the midpoint for $14.575MM, tweets ESPN’s Buster Olney. The new contract represents the largest-ever average annual value for a DH,