Yoenis Cespedes and the NY Yankees: What It Could Mean and How It Would Work
Yoenis Cespedes has been a name that's been linked to the New York Yankees for some time.
He's been hailed as the best player to come from Cuba. Cespedes's got power, speed, defense, a throwing arm and can hit for an average.
Makes sense that the Yankees would want him. But where would he fit? And how?
The Yankees outfield seems set with Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher from left to right fields in that order. Despite that, the consensus seems to be that the Yankees are involved with him.
Should the Yankees sign him, it could mean a lot of things for the team and could end up working out for them in the long run.
At worst, the signing means the New York Yankees will have a rather expensive fourth outfielder.
But, gosh darn it, he's gonna be the best fourth outfielder out there with that kind of money.
Adding Yoenis Cespedes would give the Yankees a strong outfield with a lot of flexibility. Judging from the scouting reports, Cespedes' skills would allow him to play any of the outfield positions even though center field is his natural spot.
He'd be able to give the regular outfielders rest during those long stretches. And with that flexibility, the Yankees can also give the other starters a rest by having a rotation at DH.
Sure, Jesus Montero is there, but I'd feel better if the 22-year-old would find a position to play.
A Star in the Making
Going from the worst potential outcome to the best, Yoenis Cespedes could end up being the next star of the New York Yankees.
Granted that's the biggest if to happen in New York since maybe what would've happened if The King Who Shall Not be Name chose the Big Apple instead of South Beach, but I digress...
Should the scouting reports prove to be true and Cespedes is really a five-tool player, then the New York Yankees might have their next star.
Of course, there's a bit of a learning curve from Cuba to the MLB, but if he's as good as they say he is and will be, then it shouldn't take him too long to become a star.
Then Yankees are getting older and the faces of the franchise won't be around forever. They're going to need someone to help out Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and CC Sabathia once the old guard of Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera retires.
At 26-years-old, Cespedes is just entering his prime and it'd be a sight to see him in pinstripes and explode into the star the scout thinks he'll be and stay at that level for some time.
A Team for the Future
Yoenis Cespedes could very well end up being the next star, but that's only if he can survive in the majors.
The New York Yankees will likely give him a shot in spring training and keep him on the bench unless he can prove otherwise.
However, if he struggles too much, don't be surprised if the Yankees send their prized signing down to the minors for some fine tuning.
Scouts believe Cespedes has what it takes to be a great player in the majors, the question is how soon will that be? As of now, he's a very raw prospect who hasn't faced major league pitchers or even played any major league games.
The learning curve could prove too much and the Yankees could stick him in the minors until he's ready.
That way, when he does come back up, he'll likely join Jesus Montero, Austin Romine, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances as the young guns of the franchise.
Those guys, along with Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and CC Sabathia will form the new basis of the team and have a perennial championship team like they did in the late 1990s with Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettite.
Right Field Platoon
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For Yoenis Cespedes to get any regular playing time, the New York Yankees would have to move one of their outfielders.
The most likely bet is Nick Swisher, but Brett Gardner's also an interesting option which I'll explore later.
Since he'll likely be getting a lot of money, I'd prefer if he wasn't a platoon player, but his skills might not yet be ready to handle the major leagues everyday.
Cespedes could end up being in a platoon with the possibility of being a full-time player in 2013 or beyond.
The Yankees could platoon Cespedes with one of their young guys in the minors or a veteran until they feel he's ready to take over as the lone starter.
A Trade Is in the Works
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Yoenis Cespedes is an outfielder and the New York Yankees' outfield seems pretty set. Therefore, it makes sense that the Yankees might be thinking of moving one of those outfielders either this offseason or by the trade deadline.
Of course, it could also mean that some other player might get traded as well, maybe even Cespedes himself.
A trade involving Cespedes would obviously come during the actual season once the Yankees and other teams see what he can do in the majors, or even the stateside minors.
However, it is more likely that a trade involving another player could possibly be lined up should the Yankees sign him.
Brian Cashman wouldn't sign him unless they had a plan and that plan just might be a blockbuster trade.
We'll cover the two (three actually) players who are likely to be moved with a Cespedes signing.
Brett Gardner/Nick Swisher
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The most obvious choice would be to ship one of the New York Yankees' other outfielders to a different team.
They aren't gonna move Curtis Granderson, his 41 home runs, and his MVP-like season which means Brett Gardner and Nick Swisher are going to be the ones who might get moved.
Brett Gardner is the younger, more versatile option while Nick Swisher is the power-numbers veteran and a good clubhouse presence.
The Yankees would like to move Swisher's contract over Gardner, but Gardner might be the one who would command a better price on the trade market.
Either one could entice a team in dire need of outfield help to part with a back-end starting pitcher, just someone who could give the Yankees some depth, which is what they truly need.
Neither one of those guys alone could bring another ace or a certified No. 2 to New York, but this next guy might.
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Boy, does it seem like this guy's name is involved with every New York Yankees rumor or what?
Jesus Montero is by far the Yankees' best prospect. He's shown what he can do at the major league level and he's got loads of potential, well his bat does anyway. We'll have to wait on his glove to catch up.
Just about every team in the league would love to have him and the Yankees would love to keep him, but sometimes things just don't work out.
As of right now, Jesus Montero does not have a "position". He's the Yankees DH and played as a catcher in the minor leagues. However, the Yankees don't trust his glove enough to play him behind the plate everyday and they also have Russell Martin.
Should the Yankees sign Yoenis Cespedes and not trade one of their outfielders, Jesus Montero, the kid without a position, could be the one to go.
The Yankees could create a rotation for the DH spot and that way give their older players a bit of a rest at least once a week.
Dangling Montero would also give the Yankees the best chance of landing that star pitcher to pitch behind CC Sabathia they covet so much.
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Signing Yoenis Cespedes doesn't have to be a good thing you know.
From my viewpoint, signing a player as raw as him based on scouting reports and a Youtube video isn't a smart, fundamental thing to do as a GM.
We all take risks once in a while, but for most of us, it's not with millions of dollars on the line which is the price Cespedes and his agent are likely to demand.
Therefore, Brian Cashman would be taking a huge gamble if he signed Cespedes with the questions of his rawness, actual abilities and where'd he play all tied to that contract.
A signing like this would likely be a panic button scenario.
The New York Yankees and Cashman aren't dumb or blind, they know the AL got tougher. Meanwhile, the Yankees haven't done anything outside of win the right to talk to a Japanese shortstop.
The Yankees haven't made a big splash in the offseason since the Curtis Granderson trade. Their fans are used to seeing the Yankees make at least one major acquisition. Cespedes could be just that.
Cespedes's name is one of the more flashier options out there and if they gamble correctly, he could end up being the next big thing and make the Yankees' front office look like geniuses.
Hank Steinbrenner's Channeling His Father's Spirit
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New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman knows what it's like to have an owner go over his head and make a signing. He went through it with the Boss, George Steinbrenner, and his son, Hank, did it last season with the Rafael Soriano signing.
Cashman has shown the ability to hold off making signings and trades when the pieces don't add up. Signing Yoenis Cespedes wouldn't be a Cashman-like thing to do.
Which means that somebody, probably chip off the old block Hank Steinbrenner, called the shots and signed him or demanded him to be signed.
This goes with the panic button theory, since if Hank Steinbrenner starts calling the shots instead of Cashman, the Yankees might see a repeat of the 2001-2007 era when Daddy George Steinbrenner was calling the shots and the Yankees were spending money every year.
This could mean a rift in the Yankees front office and a deterioration of the team. So if the Yankees do sign Cespedes, I hope Cashman's the one who wanted it.
We've gone through several scenarios and some options should the New York Yankees decided to don Yoenis Cespedes in pinstripes but don't be too surprised if he isn't.
There's been reports that the Yankees' aren't sure on how they feel about Cespedes.
They believe him to be too raw and don't want to sign a guy based on a couple videos and scouting reports.
Also, the Yankee's outfield seems to be set unless one of those trade or DH scenarios kick in.
Therefore, I don't believe the Yankees will actually sign Cespedes, but that's just me. I mean, I see why it could work and why they would do it, but it doesn't seem to be the right move for them at this time.
However, Cashman wouldn't sign a player without good reason, so if the Yankees end up signing him, expect a plan to be in place.