While the Miami Marlins wining and dining Yoenis Cespedes today, reports are already surfacing that the Marlins are the favorites to land him. Even Cespedes was quoted as saying he would like to play in Miami.
Other interested teams are expected to meet with Cespedes this week in Miami as well.
It not clear at this point whether the Marlins made him an offer, although one executive thought that the Marlins would try to seize the opportunity and make Cespedes an offer.
With the bidding for Cespedes expected to reach $50 to $60 million, I think the Cubs should focus their attention on landing Jorge Soler.
As I said before, Soler is younger, cheaper and many think he has more upside than Cespedes. Plus, he fits better into the Cubs long-term rebuilding plan. The last thing the Cubs need is to lock up someone like Cespedes to a 6-year, $60 million contract and watch him wash out after 3 years. He is not a normal free agent, with a known level of production. Thus, he inherently carries more risk.
With a player like Soler, we could give him a $15 million bonus up front and a 5-year, $15 million contract. Its a lot easier to cut a guy making $3 million than one making $10 million.
In any case, the Cubs will get their chance to meet with Cespedes and get a feel for what his salary expectations are. The Cubs may be looking to hit a homerun and sign both Cespedes and Soler. But if they just land Soler, I'll still be happy.