So much for the debut of Yoenis Cespedes in the Dominican Winter League. It turned out to be one big dud. Cespedes, the 26-year-old outfielder who is square in the Marlins' sights, struck out three times and was hit by a pitch in four plate appearances last night for the Aguilas Cibaenas.
Cespedes was used as a designated hitter and batted fifth for Aguilas, which was eliminated from the DWL playoffs with last night's defeat. At one point, he was even booed by the home crowd after one of his whiffs. Here's a detailed account of Cespedes' unimpressive night.
The Marlins plan to be aggressive in trying to sign Cespedes once he gains residency in the Dominican and is granted free agent status, which could come within days. During his weekly radio guest appearance on 790-The Ticket, Marlins president David Samson had this to say Wednesday about the team's interest in Cespedes:
"Aggressive right to the point of stupidity, but not quite there," Samson said. "We think he's a perfect fit for us, but it has to be sane. (We're) expressing interest, going to visit, making it very clear to his representatives and to him and his family that we think he should not be anywhere other than Miami. As a Cuban and someone in the DR, it makes perfect sense. We have a perfect position for him to play. It would be great.
"I think that we're right in there. There are a lot of teams who want him and we're definitely competitive and we're not fooling around. We expect he will be a significant sign and receive a significant signing bonus and contract, and we're prepared for that. Again, if you're dealing with another team who needs to make a bigger splash or wants to get irrational, we're not going to match that."