He has been compared to Marlon Byrd. I don't want the current Byrd, so I'm not terribly excited about getting a younger version of him.
Byrd is an average hitter and baserunner, and a decent fielder with not much power. Cespedes supposedly has more power, and some say he's a better centerfielder than Byrd.
Cubs Vice President of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod said on ESPN Chicago in Bruce Levine's column, "It's funny, because we have a guy on the Cubs now that compares to him when he was younger. He reminds me somewhat of Marlon Byrd."
He's supposedly 26, but you know how that goes. Defecting from Cuba, who knows what his real age is?
According to SB Nation, Cleveland Indians pitcher Fausto Carmona is allegedly 31 years old instead of his reported 28, and he's not even Fausto Carmona. His real name is said to be Roberto Hernandez Heredia.
What that says to me is "Buyer Beware." You don't know what you're getting when you sign a player from another country.
He might not be the age he tells you, he might have a different identity, or he just might not be any good like Kosuke Fukudome, who cost the Cubs $48 million dollars (not yen) when they signed him from Japan.
The quality of Cuban baseball has been compared to A ball in the states. He's said to be a guy who's going to strike out a bit and not walk a lot.
He has struggled in the Dominican Winter League.
Nobody has said exactly what he's asking or what it's going to take to sign him, but the talk is he could get up to the $60 million range. It doesn't matter to me, because I'm not spending it, but if you spend bad money on one player, you might not have the money to spend on someone else who can help your team.
Another Cuban defector thought to be on the Cubs radar is Jorge Soler. He's supposed to be 19, so even if that's not accurate, he's more in line with the youth movement the Cubs are currently on. It might take longer for him to develop, but he should cost a lot less, and will hopefully be ready to step in when the Cubs are ready to step up.
If I go for anyone, he's the guy I take a chance on.
One last thing on Cespedes. I saw some highlights of him at the plate swinging at a pitch and admiring it before he starts to run. It gave me a frightening reminder of a current Cub, Alfonso Soriano.
If that's how he's major league ready, thanks but no thanks.