MLB Trade Rumors: Yoenis Cespedes Is a Free Agent

Eli GreenspanSenior Analyst IJanuary 24, 2012

SAN DIEGO - MARCH 18: Yoennis Cespedes #51 of Cuba runs to third base after hitting into the corner of the outfield againts Japan during the 2009 World Baseball Classic Round 2 Pool 1 Game 5 on March 18, 2009 at Petco Park in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

UPDATE 2 (4:30 PM): is now reporting teams have been informed that Yoenis Cespedes is a free agent. 

UPDATE: is reporting today that Yoenis Cespedes is still awaiting free agency, contrary to previous reports. 

AP correspondent Dionisio Soldevilla is reporting that Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes has been granted free agency by Major League Baseball.

It was reported earlier today that he had officially established residency in the D.R., and now, he is already a free agent. Things move fast.

He has already been pulled from the Winter Leagues in the D.R., so he will likely be meeting with teams and beginning the process of acquiring a work visa so he will be ready for spring training.

The Cubs and Marlins are the early front-runners, with the Marlins vowing to outspend any team for the coveted outfielder, according to's Jim Bowden.

The Tigers were also believed to be interested, but with the signing of Fielder, they are likely done spending.

The Orioles, White Sox, Nationals and Indians are all believed to be interested.

It'll be interesting to see how it plays out over the next few days. Will the negotiations move fast, or will they drag on into February?

My guess is that Cespedes will narrow his list down and visit cities before making a final decision.

Reports are he will be seeking a six-year deal in the range of 35-45 million dollars. A team desperate to sign him quick may shoot into the $50 million range, but the only team that appears willing to do that at this point is the Marlins.

It would certainly be a good baseball and business move for the Marlins coming into a new stadium.