Dodgers Rumors: Could Yoenis Cespedes Be In Play?

Yoenis Cespedes is one of the top free agents left on the market. The Cuban left fielder hit .291 last season with 35 home runs, 105 runs batted in, and helped the New York Mets reach the World Series for the first time 2000. Dodger rumors are that the outfield slugger could possibly be a off season target

As Dodgers Nation’s own Anthony Irwin wrote about a couple weeks ago, signing someone like Cespedes wouldn’t actually impede what the Dodgers are trying to do. They can still develop the younger players while also shoring up a position of need – i.e. left field.

ICYMI: Understanding The Ins And Outs of Salary Arbitration

Well, ESPN Baseball Analyst and Insider Jim Bowden (@JimBowden_ESPN) went on MLB Network radio today and had this to say:

Now, obviously there are no teams listed there so it’s completely open to speculation at this point in time. However, it is interesting to note that there are 10 teams that are still in contact with the talented 30-year old outfielder. Could one of those teams be the Los Angeles Dodgers?

If you go off of positional need, it could be reasonable to assume that the Dodgers would be interested in possibly making a deal with him since, as of right now, it looks like it’ll be a platoon job between Scott Van Slyke and Andre Ethier. But that’s where the fun comes in.

This is where the Dodgers can negotiate from a position of power. Several teams out there are looking for a possible left field bat. Chief among them being the Baltimore Orioles after they just came to agreement with an Chris Davis, which took them out of the running for Cespedes. Perhaps this leads the way to an Ethier + Alex Wood for a prospect (maybe Dylan Bundy?) trade that opens up space for an outfielder to get signed.

Adding Cespedes would give the Dodgers a long-term answer for a position that has seemed very short-term lately. Giving Cespedes something like three years and $72 million, or thereabouts, could be something he might be interested in.

The upside to just making a run at Cespedes in general is that if they do sign him, by some miracle, then they don’t have to give up a draft pick because he wasn’t with the Mets for a full season. That’s just another perk of looking at him, and it’s something that led the Dodgers to Scott Kazmir.

While developing the younger talent is definitely a tantamount goal of this organization, signing someone who can also help in the now, as well as in the future, would be just as big of an important aspect as anything else. It’s at least something they should consider. Stay tuned this winter for all transaction Dodgers news and rumors.

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  1. I like the idea of Cespedes as a Dodger, and the Orioles could use Ethier and Wood, but LA needs relief more than another 23 year old RHP prospect.  They already have Chris Anderson, they do not need Dylan Bundy.  They could use reliever Mychal Givens.

  2. This is what I have been commenting on in previous article. The Dodgers would be silly not to sign this guy in my opinion. I agree with Newest about the relief help that we could use more help there. Just sign the power RH bat and take the pressure of Puig of trying to be the only power hitting bat from the right side.

  3. There’s some talk that with the market thinning, Cespedes and Upton might take one year contracts and then reenter the market next year when there are fewer competitive outfielders. If the Dodgers can sign either to a one year deal, they should. But that;s still probably a long shot.

  4. Blue58 I think Cespedes is worth the money for the talent he brings to the table. The Dodgers are blowing it not lock this guy down for that corner outfield. This will help keep Cayton in the next coming years to not Opt out or at least resign. Knowing he has a defense and some great bats.

  5. No room unless they move a couple of outfielders as there are 8 listed on the roster right now, including Kike Hernandez, and the man without a position, Alex Guererro. Ethier and Crawford are pretty much untradeable. Pederson and Puig, Thompson and SVS are cost efficient…So why add another unwieldy contract that you cannot move and block the kids? Makes no sense…so quit dreaming///

  6. They can always make room But they have not signed any top flight free agents. So why would anyone think they would do it now for Cespedes???? This is just rumor mongering.

  7. AlwaysCompete FIrst I would like to see them trade a couple of Outfielders like everyone else. As they have so many arms to evaluate already in the Spring I would trade for a Second Baseman, even a Good Minor League prospect as we seem to be thin at 2nd and SS. 
    I do not see them signing Cepedes or anyone else with a big contract. I think they will see what they have in Thompson. Evaluate Pederson and see if he can change his really bad habits and cover up his Swiss Cheese hitting zone and see which Puig shows up. 
    Remember if Crawford is healthy and can play 100 games the guy is really dynamic. He had one of his worst seasons but tends to come back from those. And they will not be able to trade him unless they pretty much pay his salary. 
    IAs Michael Norris and others have said if Thompson works out and Pederson becomes a steady 250 hitter a Thompson, Pederson, Puig Outfield would be the fastest and one of the best if not the best in baseball. And cost controlled for several years. I think that is their goal.

  8. I don’t think the Dodger bullpen is as bad as many others think.
    Jansen (one of the best closers)
     Bolsinger (long man)
     Howell (over-rated)

    Last year’s bullpen stats were dragged down by other guys like: Peralta, Johnson, Santos, Ravin, Thomas, Coulumbe, Tsao, Huff and Surkamp, most of who are now out of the picture.  The guys still there, cumulatively are pretty good.

    Regarding 2B, I thought http://m.dodgers.mlb.com/player/606299/jose-peraza would be the guy and lead-off hitter.  Since he was moved, I would have preferred to see Kendrick resigned for a couple of years.  I always liked the younger Utley, but fear he is over the hill.

    Regarding Guerrero:  I think he is a valuable bench piece, able to provide some righty power and his defense when he played 3B last year was not that bad, only 1 error.  His fielding pct. at 3B was .978, Turners .960!!

  9. GaryPeck1  What do you put in your drinking water???? The Dodgers bull-pen is one of the worst in baseball. Just ask Kershaw!!!!

  10. GaryPeck1 Gary I agree that as Peraza is gone signing Kendrick would make us much stronger in the line up. Kendrick is a great line drive hitter with gap power. I think in the Bull Pen that Bolsinger does not make it. I think that Frias may make the BP or Wood if reports of a possible trade are incorrect ends up in the BP. 
    To me Bolsinger is not a good fit  I want a guy that can miss bats and Bolsinger is erratic at that. 
    I really like Frias he has an electric arm and good stuff. He does not seem to be a fit for the rotation but would be great in the BP. Montas is the same I think. No room in the rotation. 
    I completely agree with you I am OK with the Bullpen and think it could be very good this year. 
    I am very concerned about back up in the Infield and hoping they clear out a couple of guys projected for the Outfield…

  11. Tmaxster AlwaysCompete  Another Firedman disciple. Crawford is as over the hill as a player can be. Cespedes would be a 100% up grade over Crawford. But don’t waste space over this. Friedman and co. will NOT sign a major free agent. He wants another Beachy type bum to sign for the offense.

  12. GaryPeck1  Your info was right as to fielding pct for Turner and Guererro, but….Turner gets to balls that just fly by Guererro. He has limited range, and not a great arm. Why do you think they moved him from SS to 2nd base? Turner is a much better defensive player than Guererro. Guererro is a man without a position, and that lousy contract he has is the only thing keeping him on the team. He would be better served with a trade to an AL club where he can DH….Right now he is not even listed as an infielder on the roster….he is listed as an outfielder, and that puts him about 6 on the depth chart…he is even behind the new guy, Thompson, who can play multiple OF positions, and actually has speed….

  13. Jagman63 Tmaxster AlwaysCompete Jagman I agree Crawford is over the hill way over. But if we are stuck with him every once in a while he gets hot and can carry a team. Cepedes would be HUGE but not going to happen…
    I just read that since the Dodgers signed Kershaw 14 players with 12 Teams have signed 100 Million plus contracts. none of them have been with the Dodgers. 
    They are going with Home Grown and evaluate what they have.
    I think this is a throw away year for the Front Office. They of course will not admit it but i do not see them spending any unnecessary money.

  14. Tmaxster, if the Dodgers could get Cespedes on a short term basis, I would have no problem.  My objection was more that if the Dodgers did sign Cespedes they could put together a trade to Baltimore and get Dylan Bundy.  There is no need whatsoever for another 23 year old RHP starting pitcher prospect.  OKC will be filled with them this year; actually much better than Bundy.

    The Dodgers actually have no true SS prospects after Seager.  The only one listed as a potential top 30 is Brandon Davis, who is projected to be more of a 3B.  Other than Davis, the only other 3B prospect is Kyle Farmer who is really being groomed to be a catcher.  Then at 2B they have three rated prospects.  Two could be better placed in the OF (Johnson and Calhoun), and one is a 17 year old who has not yet played (Estevez).  So yes, I agree they need infield prospects at the all levels.

    Pederson is way too young to quit on.  I think he hits .250 with 20+ HR, but with a very good OBP. Thompson will not make the 25 man unless the Dodgers move one of Ethier, Crawford, or SVS.  Thompson still has options, and while I think he gains absolutely nothing by going back to AAA, he would be the odd man out.  IF Crawford can play 100 games, he fills a few holes, including a potential lead-off guy.  The Dodgers are going to have to pay his salary regardless, so if he does somehow turn it on, it might as well be with the Dodgers.  If not he will be back on the DL and Thompson is called up.

  15. Tmaxster Jagman63 AlwaysCompete  I agree with just about all you said. Except I think Crawford is done as a productive player. And I certainly question his commitment and desire. Throw away year, absolutely.

  16. Okay the Dodgers carry how many pitchers? 11 ? If its 11 then we have Gonzo, Utley, Seager, Turner, Grandal, Etheir, Pederson, Puig starting against right hand pitching… Bench is SVS, Kike, Guererro, Crawford, Ellis. Barring a trade. 
    So if they carry 11 pitchers there is one more slot open…
    Do they go with a Barnes who can play the Infield? Johnson? Thompson? They really need to trade Guerrero and another Outfielder but we shall see… Not much room on the roster.

  17. Michael Norris GaryPeck1  Going, by what I saw last year, Guerrero made some tough plays at 3B and I think he should get some play there as Turner is injured too much and needs days off.  I don’t disagree that DH is in his future. but he’s a Dodger for next couple of years.  Thompson had an outstanding debut with the Whitesox, but his minor league stats indicate he may be another strikeout machine with some power.  Though, obviously I hope he has figured things out.

  18. Tmaxster GaryPeck1  Correct, Wood is more likely the long guy, although Bosinger did a nice job last year.  I’m not much of a Frias fan.

  19. Jagman63 GaryPeck1  Look at the stats of the guys I listed and remember that Garcia, Baez and some of the others are bound to improve.  They have failed miserably bringing in older established guys in the past like League, Peralta, Johnson, Tsao, Santos, so lets see what these guys can develop into.  You might be surprised.  BTW I thought Howell was poor last year.

  20. Jagman63 GaryPeck1  Oh, I didn’t really answer your question.  Irish Whiskey or Kentucky Bourbon is my preference.

    Oh, and Kershaw doesn’t really need the bullpen, just Jansen on occaision.

  21. GaryPeck1 Michael Norris  What you saw was not what most of the Dodger FO sees. The coaching staff does not agree either. Turner played most of last year on a bad leg, which he had surgery to fix this offseason…and they have better options at 3rd when Turner needs a rest, Hernandez, or Utley. Guererro is in the last year of his contract, and has 10 million owed to him. He is not as good as everyone who likes him thinks he is or he would have been playing last year. Guererro made a few great plays..that’s true, but I want Turner in there everyday he is available, and right now, the numbers game is against Guererro. As far as Thompson goes….he did have a great debut, but he is not half the K machine Pederson is, and he is a far superior fielder to Guererro..I understand you like the guy, but I would bet that is not the position of those in power….the guy is expendable

  22. GaryPeck1 Jagman63  You must be a new Dodger fn. Or else you would remember when Kershaw faced the Cardinals in the post season. Think he needed a good bull pen then????

  23. GaryPeck1 Jagman63 It’s not a given that Garcia, Baez, Frias, Hatcher et al are “bound to improve.” It could just as easily be “what you saw is what you get.” The right-handers you mentioned, other than Bolsinger, whose stuff belongs in a softball league, are all the same type pitcher: guys who throw an upper-90s fastball with little movement and who have marginal secondary pitches and erratic control. The reason they get hit a lot and give up a lot of home runs is that hitters have learned to sit on the fastball and wait for one right down the middle. 

    I wish the front office would bring a right hander into the bullpen (other than Jansen) who’s primary pitch is a slider, curve or cutter, so the opposing hitters get different looks. That was one of the keys to the Royals success with their bullpen: the pitchers had different strengths.

  24. GaryPeck1 By the way you have with 5 starting 14 pitchers listed there. How many will the Dodgers actually go with on the 25 man roster? 11 ? 12? 
    They started off last year if I remember correctly with 12 and I would like them to carry 11 after the starters stretch out and can go 7 or 8 innings. To start the year you need a few more to bridge the inning gap from the starters only able to go 5 or 6…

  25. Michael Norris GaryPeck1 That is 10 million that they will be thrilled to get off of the books next year….

  26. Blue58 GaryPeck1 Jagman63 Blue I am in the minority I think in that I like Frias. He had very little pitching experience. But he has electric stuff and I believe will just get better. I also like Hatcher as I listened to an interview the last half and he said things started to click and he was understanding better to pitch not just throw. His work the second half showed that.

    I think Liberatore has great potential also . Garcia needs to develop and trust secondary pitches as you are right they were sitting on his fastball. Avilian is a good guy to bring in as a situational along with JP. 
    So overall I think the Bull pen can be a strong one. They are going to have a lot of choices. Do not forget there are some arms from the Farm that are going to compete also. It will be fascinating to see which ones get a spot…And who is pitching at the end of the year.
    Like Michael Norris I have my eye on Beachy. If he has recovered from the 2 surgeries he can be dynamic. The guy was a dominant pitcher for the Braves before the arm issues. I think it was a high gain low risk signing. He is 2 years of rehab from the last surgery. Now is when he finds out if he can compete. They must like what they have seen or they would not have signed him…

  27. Jagman63 GaryPeck1  Not hardly!  Been a Dodger fan since the 50’s  My point was that Kershaw almost always goes 7-9 innings.  It’s the other starters that need the pen help for the most part.  I think they (the bullpen) are potentially better than many others including you.
    Kershaw also shouldn’t have so many close games if the offense will step up.  Looking for great things from Seager and bounce backs from Puig, Grandal and hopefully Utley.  And of course need a change in approach and improvement by Pederson.

  28. Blue58 GaryPeck1 Jagman63  I agree, the HR was a problem for some of these guys  Bolsinger sure gives a different look and I was surprised how well he did with his junk.

  29. GaryPeck1 Blue58 Jagman63 That’s true about Bolsinger giving a different look. The curveball is his best pitch. The problem is his fastball is about 85 mph. His impressive starts were all against poor hitting teams. The good teams bombed him. Nonetheless, he might be successful if he can adjust to being a one-inning reliever. Wood can be the long man, assuming Ryu is ready and Wood does not get traded.

  30. Tmaxster GaryPeck1  I was just listing the ones on the 40 man roster, that I think might make opening day.  There are usually surprises.  They seem to like 12 pitchers, I prefer 11.

  31. Tmaxster I think a trade or trades of one or even two outfielders may get done before the season launches. They need to see where Cespedes, Upton and maybe Fowler land and then determine the remaining market. I’m guessing they do not want Ethier to get 5 and 10 rights and fear they may virtually give him away and get no one useful in return, like the idiot Uribe trade of last year. Guerrero should have some AL appeal, but more likely he’s a trade deadline piece, especially if he can show something in the first half of the season. Van Slyke may be the most valuable trade item, but they may need to keep him as they have so little right handed power.

  32. GaryPeck1 Jagman63 
    Utely is toast. Waste of 7 million dollars. The bull pen is one of the worst in baseball. (Tyler
    Clippard, Tyler Clippard, Tyler Clippard)Look it up. And the offense was mediocore at best. But not according to Friedman and co. Upton or Cespedes could not help……….could they???

  33. Jagman63 GaryPeck1 While I agree about Utley. I do not agree with your assessment of the BP. It was not that bad at the end of the year. Hatcher had matured into a good bridge man and JP and Avilian are solid lefty situational guys. I would have felt better to have more experience in the pen. But when they tried that last year that idiot Friedman brought in has beens like Peralta.Johnson etc…
    So I will take what the Farm Team will produce. I think with some of the young arms coming up and Frias, Montas, Bolsinger, Wood, Stripling and others fighting for a spot we will get a decent BP.
    I am way more concerned about the offense or lack there of against decent pitchers. Our record the last several years was below .500 against above .500 teams which does not bode well for the Playoffs, as we have experienced,  unless that can be turned around we are toast again.. Fixing the Defense was a great start both they have to fix the Offense…

  34. Jagman63 GaryPeck1  I didn’t realize Clippard was unsigned.  I’m very familiar as I live in Nationals country.  He does have a lot of mileage on his arm, but still pretty good.  Not as good as a few years ago.

  35. Tmaxster Jagman63 GaryPeck1  This offense can be good/better than last year. They led the league or were near the top in Homers, walks, OBP, OPS, etc.  However, hitting in the clutch was terrible.  Sometimes you just need a SAC Fly to score a run not a GDP or K.
    What they need is healthy, productive years from Puig, Grandal and Turner, a ROY type year from Seager and an improved approach by Pederson.  Hey Joc, a 410 foot homer is just as much a homer as a 465 foot homer.  Gonzo may need a little more rest, Ethier proved he can still produce (at least against righties).  A platoon of Utley/Hernandez might surprise at 2B.  Not holding my breath on that one.

  36. GaryPeck1 Tmaxster Jagman63 That is the concern. The Front Office is depending on good years from two guys returning from Surgery, Grandal and Turner Puig to figure out how to play consistently and not be a head case and Pederson not to strikeout as much which he has always done all through his Minor League Career. Striking out is who Pederson is. I think he flat lined when he got to a League where guys can throw the ball consistently where he is weak. I think once they figured out where his holes were he was toast. I do not have a lot of faith in him every being a very dependable guy. No more than around 240-250. I hope I am wrong. Yes he can hit a mistake a long way but so what. He is a rally killer.

  37. AlwaysCompete Crawford playing 100 games is wishful thinking. They should see if they can pull a Kemp like deal, where they get rid of him and pay a portion of his salary. Then they can play their young talent  like Thompson and have an extra roster spot. Seems only pitchers with Tommy John surgery has probably missed more games sense Crawford signed that big contact with Boston.

  38. Tmaxster GaryPeck1 Jagman63 Tmaxster, if Pederson hits .240-.250 for the year, I will be very happy, as will the Dodgers. Here is his month by month BA from April through September of last season: .293, .236, .222, .169, .120, .197. Post season: .000. Based on that, a full season BA of .245 would be a huge improvement. It also would mean he’d probably be good for 20 or more home runs again and have an OBP of .350 or better. Considering that he is envisioned for the number 8 slot, that would be a huge year.
    Based on his 2015 experience, I’m thinking he’s more likely to hover around the Mendoza line. I hope you are on target.

  39. Robert Hamilton  AlwaysCompete  Ok, how many times in 3 years with the Dodgers do you think Crawford has played 100 games? The answer is 2 of the 3 years..so him playing 100 games is not out of the question. Only last year was he limited to under 100 games. 2013 he hit .283 with 6 homers and 31 RBI’s in 116 games. He also stole 15 bases…in 2014 he hit 300 with 8 homers, and 46 RBI’s and he stole 23 bases…..Last year he hit 265 with 4 homers 16 RBI’s and 10 steals in 69 games..by far his worst in a Dodger uni. But when healthy he is a very productive player, and has something Ethier and SVS sadly lack…speed…..He had 1 injury plagued year in Boston…..That he was not productive there has more to say about the atmosphere than the player. He has 36 million owed to him over the next 2 years. He is almost untradeable. Ethier on the other hand becomes a 10-5 player the end of May….he is much more tradable coming off last year than Crawford. The chance they make a Matt Kemp type of deal is almost nil……

  40. Blue58 Tmaxster GaryPeck1 Jagman63 Blue you are right I may be too positive about Pederson. But he is pretty good mistake hitter. I thought he might make .240 or so. The problem is he does not swing at a lot of those pitches and walks because he has no chance of hitting them. So he is at the mercy of the umpires. 
    I am really hoping Thompson turns out to be much better…

  41. With this FO one never know, but this lineup is in need of someone to jump start it. Three years in a row we had to depend mostly on one man to carry us. It was Hanley before the Cards pitcher hit him on the risk to derail our chances.And then comes Puig who carries us to the playoff. Kemp then takes over the next year. Will we keep getting lucky with one guy getting hot? This is just a bad offense. I have more confidence in having a good BP than offense. Think of what Kershaw’s record these last few years could have been with a good offense.  We scored more runs for Greinke. . But that can be deceiving because he was a better hitter than most of our lineup.

  42. Michael Norris Robert Hamilton  AlwaysCompete But Mike he’ll get hot for two maybe three weeks and then he’s gone.

  43. Tmaxster Blue58 GaryPeck1 Jagman63 
    I am not a huge Frias fan.  His two year career ERA is 4.66 with a 1.4 WHIP.  And he is not a strikeout pitcher which is what is needed in the pen.  He has 2.18 K/BB.  I am a big advocate of spending some of that surplus AAA RHP, SVS, Baez, and ?? and get Jake McGee out of Tampa Bay.  I was hoping for a bigger deal that would have included Jake Odorizzi, but that does not seem practical right now.  The Rays do have excess SP and they need a spot for Snell.

    That sets up the pen pretty nicely:  Jansen (closer), McGee (8th inning), Hatcher (7th inning), Avilan and Garcia (middle relief – right and left situational), JP (situational Lefty), and Wood (swing/long relief).  While McGee is not Wade Davis, in totality that pen can compete with KC.  Because of the lack of open dates in the beginning of the season, and because Ryu will need to build arm strength, I can see the need for an 8th member of the pen…Bolsinger/Frias type for multiple innings, for the first couple of weeks.  Then back down to their normal 7.

  44. GaryPeck1 Jagman63  The Dodgers do not need to sign a FA relief now.  I would have been fine with Madsen or Sipp, but not Clippard.  The Dodgers have a surplus of AAA RHP, and at least one extra OF.  Package them and get a quality lockdown setup arm for the 8th inning.  This moves Hatcher back to a more comfortable 7th inning.  If this was done last year, it would have been Hatcher to come in and face D Wright, and not Baez.  The less the Dodgers see of Baez, the better my heart will feel.

  45. Michael Norris GaryPeck1  Justin Turner is no longer an unknown bench player.  He is an established 3B who is coming into his contract year.  He has been hurt, but he missed games last year because of a skin ailment, not so much his knee (which has now been corrected).  Turner had a triple slash line of .294/.370/.491 with a 138 OPS+ and 3.9 WAR.  Todd Frazier was .255/.309/.498 with a 117 OPS+ and a 4.0 WAR (he is better defensively), and he is the All-Star.  Turner is every bit the offensive player that Frazier is except for the HR power, which he substitutes OBP.  I would expect 140 Games out of Turner, and Utley or Kike’ can spell him once a week or so.

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