Yoenis Some, You Lose SomeBy
On Monday afternoon, we learned of the Athletics agreement with Yoenis Cespedes, a four-year deal worth around $36MM. The deal came as a surprise given their lack of previous interest but more importantly, because of the strong likelihood of Cespedes inking a deal with the Marlins. Despite the favorable initial chances of that happening, Cespedes will be donning gold and green in 2012 and the Marlins will have to move on. Although they missed out on an impressive young talent and someone who they long-coveted the Marlins offense still, at the very least, projects to be satisfactory.
Entering the off-season, fans and pundits predicted the Marlins to sign at least one of Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder. The hope from fans was that after the Marlins did ink one of the two first-basemen they would subsequently ship Gaby Sanchez elsewhere and continue upgrading their roster. After that notion went for not, or at least after they used some of the Pujols money to upgrade areas elsewhere on their roster the popular target inevitably became Yoenis Cespedes, arguably the best Cuban defector to become a free agent since Aroldis Chapman a few years back.
Yoenis Cespedes, still a prospect is a toolsy yet major league ready center fielder with the rare combination of power and speed. He has fantastic bat speed and baseball instincts and, although he’s 26-years of age, still projects to have some upside. Obviously, the Marlins could have made fine use of a center-fielder with the aforementioned skill-set. Logan Morrison, Mike Stanton and Cespedes roaming the outfield sure would have been fun to watch, as would have Cespedes at the plate. But the Marlins still might find a way to rack up more than a few runs on the board this season.
According to ZiPS, the Marlins project to have five players (Mike Stanton, Jose Reyes, Gaby Sanchez, Hanley Ramirez and Logan Morrison) with an OPS+ over 100. That means five Marlin hitters will potentially be above average at the plate and that’s excluding Chris Coghlan and Omar Infante, who project to OPS+ 94 & 89 respectively. From the pitching perspective, the Marlins will inject Mark Buerhle into a rotation that already includes Ricky Nolasco and Anibal Sanchez preceded by, if healthy, one of the best pitchers in baseball in Josh Johnson. A healthy Johnson could add around five wins to the squad, which could go a hec of a long way, especially seeing as to how much the Marlins fell due to his injury last year.
Cespedes would have been a real nice addition to an already young and talented team, and although he would have likely impacted the Marlins a bunch, there is a strong possibility of significant improvement for the Fish. Meanwhile, the Marlins will factor in a slew of minor league signings in to the mix once Spring Training officially begins, and the likelihood of a few of those guys making a positive impact to the team is rather large.
Hey, you lose some and Yoenis some, am I right?