Of all the ingredients that General Managers consider before enacting a free agent signing, the afterthought always seems to be the “intangibles” associated with the player. Those little things that mean a lot over the course of a long season……..does he play loud music in the clubhouse…….is he always the last one to board the team bus………..does he have mental lapses in the field…….does he have a stable family life………what kind of car does he drive and how many cars does he own…….all of this comes into play, or should at least when you’re thinking of dropping $100 million on not just a ball player but a person as well. Which brings us to the not so curious case of Yoenis Cespedes ……
According to an article that appeared a few days ago in the Sporting News, it appears that the
Orioles and the White Sox are the only serious competitors for Cespedes’s services with the Giants on the periphery. The price tag (if he’s signed by the Orioles for instance) would make his contract stand well above Adam Jones’s measly 85.5 million. Now, Adam Jones is a pretty good all around player and he’s also a outstanding individual both on and off the field. He’s also not the sort of man who would make a big deal about Cespedes making more money than him- though certainly he might be right to wonder to himself……”Really?”
Buck Showalter, the Manager of the Orioles, is definitely a no nonsense type of person who just might rein in (shall we say) the free spirited Cespedes. But would it be wise and not disingenuous to add to what is going to be a challenging and difficult season for a team in a Division they probably have no chance of winning, with or without Cespedes.
As for the White Sox, if they’re thinking like realists (which is doubtful) they can only hope to sneak in as a Wild Card. But more than likely, they’ll be playing out the season by the All Star break. Probably closer to the truth is that they are in dire need for some excitement in order for their brand being able to compete with the Cubs on the other side of town………even if that “excitement” plays out on the back pages of the newspapers.
As we know, it only takes one team to create a “market” and agents like Scott Boras have made a fortune based on this premise. His pitch is always the same……..he brings in a thousand page three ring binder loaded with all the sabermetrics money can buy. He lauds the player’s performance on the field purposively overlooking the negative like a good lawyer should while accenting the positive. When he’s finished, Yoenis Cespedes, or anyone he represents, will look like the second coming of Babe Ruth if you not paying attention.
Let the buyer beware. Not only is the asking price for a player like Cespedes too high but his baggage weighs a ton. Think intangibles, intangibles, intangibles…………….