Yoenis Cespedes Gains Residency in the Dominican Republic

Robert KnapelCorrespondent IJanuary 25, 2012

SAN DIEGO - MARCH 18:  Yoennis Cespedes #51 of Cuba drops a fly ball to allow two runs to 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 Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

As one big-name free agent went off the market when Prince Fielder signed with the Detroit Tigers, another player took a big step towards becoming a member of the 2012 MLB free-agent class.

According to a report from Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com which cites Edgar Mercedes, the agent for potential star Yoenis Cespedes, his client has gained residency in the Dominican Republic.

The next step in the process is for the MLB to declare Cespedes a free agent. There are a number of teams that are gearing up for that announcement and the opportunity to sign Cespedes.

It would seem as if the Tigers will be out of the Cespedes sweepstakes now that they have signed Prince Fielder, but there are a number of teams that are still interested in him.

The Washington Nationals like Cespedes and according to Bill Lasden of the Washington Post, they consider him to be either a corner outfielder or a first baseman.

Other teams that are known to have an interested in Cespedes include the Miami Marlins, Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles.

Cespedes will not be cheap and he is expected to sign a bigger deal than the one that Aroldis Chapman inked a few years ago.

While in Cuba, Cespedes dominated and showed off all five of his tools. He hit .333 with 33 home runs and 11 stolen bases.

It is possible that Cespedes will be ready to play in the majors once the season begins, which will make him very desirable. He is a fairly polished player, but at 26 years old, he still has time to develop and improve.

Cespedes should be a very valuable player for whichever team is able to sign him.