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The White Sox aren't likely to beat the Miami Marlins and Chicago Cubs for Yoenis Cespedes' services.
Miami has hotly pursued big names this offseason. Before the 2011 season even started, they acquired Ozzie Guillen from the White Sox and paid him $4 million to manage the club.
The offseason saw the Marlins sign Mark Buehrle, Heath Bell and Jose Reyes to big contracts.
The Marlins have already met with Cespedes, and they might have the inside track since they're the first team to meet with him. That Cespedes could return to the Dominican Republic on Thursday without any planned meetings with other teams this week could indicate satisfaction with the Marlins presentation.
Meanwhile, the Cubs are also positioning themselves well for Cespedes. While the Cubs are rebuilding to start the Theo Epstein era, they're clearing space for Cespedes. They dealt Carlos Zambrano to the Marlins, let Aramis Ramirez sign with the Milwaukee Brewers and held themselves to modest signings. Also, the Cubs could still trade Matt Garza.
Moreover, Cespedes likes the Cubs. He told the Associated Press in January that the Cubs were his favorite. While that might have changed after his meeting with Marlins officials, Cespedes could still have the Cubs high on his radar.
That leaves the White Sox in the rear-view mirror. One might wonder if or when Williams might meet with Cespedes. In late January, Jim Bowden ranked the possible teams for Cespedes via Twitter, and the White Sox placed fourth. That's not a good place to be when trying to get his attention.