Now that the dust has settled and many of the big name free agents have decided on their next city of residence the Marlins and their fans have started discussing where the extra “Pujols money” should be spent. If you where to put yourself in the Marlins front office position the answer is clear. There is only one person available who is an above average player, highly regarded by most scouts, and who would be a marketing departments dream in South Florida. That man is Yoenis Cespedes.
Yes, I realize it is being reported that Cespedes could receive as much as $60 million dollars for an estimated 5-6years, and we can all agree on the fact that that is a lot of money to give a 26-year old center-fielder who has never even set foot on a major league field, but this isn’t just a baseball decision. To be a part of the Miami Marlins front office we have start looking at the business side of baseball and in Miami the Cuban born Cespedes is far more valuable than any “royalty” that is available on the free agent market.
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The Marlins are a smart organization and run the team like a fortune 500 company in the sense that they are always looking to receive the most bang for the buck. Cespedes, who recently defected from Cuba to the Dominican Republic, is the exact type of athlete that the South Florida Cuban community will rally around. When a community loves somebody like they will love Cespedes they support him, and this will bring in big dollars for the Marlins. This kind of support sells jerseys, hats, shoes, and even lunch boxes. This kind of support also sells tickets to the new crown jewel of the Miami Marlins and when tickets are sold so are beverages, food, and even those foam fingers that nobody admits to buying (but everybody has). Furthermore Cespedes has already proven that he is comfortable in front of a camera. Now we have added television revenue and with the oversized Latin American market in South Florida the marketing possibilities are limitless.
But this isn’t what the fans want to hear. No! We want to hear if the guy can play, because if Cespedes doesn’t produce in Little Havana, then the fans will disappear. Last year, in only 90 games, Cespedes hit a league record 33 homeruns while batting .333/.424/.667. In 2009/10 Cespedes hit 22 homeruns .345/.426/.617 and in 2008/09 he added 24 homeruns .323/.411/.601. That averages out to a .333 avg and 79 homeruns. Beyond stats scouts around the league have been calling Cespedes “the real deal” and “the best position player to come out of Cuba in this generation.”
Yoenis Cespedes is the exact player that the Marlins front office is looking for; somebody who will “pay” for their own contract. He is also the type of athlete with the background and playing ability in which the South Florida fan base can embrace.
All stats courtesy of baseballdecuba.com