Yoenis Cespedes Signs With Oakland Athletics For Four Years, $36 Million, According To Report

The Cuban center fielder is arguably the best all-around player to come out of Cuba in a generation.

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Yoenis Cespedes Signing: Cespedes Better Equipped To Deal With Big League Challenges

Yoenis Cespedes signing with the Oakland Athletics is one of the big stories of the offseason and has put both the player and his new team in direct line of critics, both positive and negative.

Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com provides an interesting prospective on the adjustment period Cespedes will have to go through. Many of his Cuban peers have endured the same struggles that await him but Cespedes seems to be in a better position to deal with them.

Even though he will be a rookie in the league, Cespedes is 26-years-old and has been a name around Cuban baseball for almost a decade. He's also been a name to keep an eye on by all MLB scouts for years now. The only thing truly surprising about Cespedes is that he ended up signing with the A's.

Every team in the league knows what the A's potentially have - a five-tool outfielder who can contribute as soon as he touches the field.

"My first goal is to make the team and stay healthy all season, and little by little, I'll make more goals," Cespedes said. "I've been preparing every day for this and I 100 percent believe that I am ready for the Major Leagues. I have a lot of international experience and experience at a high level. I'm very confident in my abilities."

If he can approach both on the field and off the field with the same level of confidence, Cespedes should be just fine. Only time will tell.

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Yoenis Céspedes Signing: Media Reaction To Latest Oakland A's Transaction

Yoenis Céspedes Milanés is supposed to be a very solid baseball prospect from Cuba. He's done a lot of good work. Céspedes is most famous for his stats he put while he was in Cuba before his defection. DanHennessey31 of Athletics Nation had this reaction.

I'm no prospect maven and I know next to nothing about Cuban baseball, but Baseball Prospectus's Kevin Goldstein rated Cespedes as the 20th best "prospect" in baseball, if you can consider a 26-year old a prospect, which would give the A's 7 guys in his Top 101.

The signing of Céspedes also appears to be a deviation from current Moneyball strategies that had made the franchise so successful in the past. Instead of trying to spend the least amount of money possible on quality talent, the A's are instead trying to go for talent that isn't so good.

Monte Poole of the San Jose Mercury News gave his thoughts.

General manager Billy Beane might be the star on several levels, but not even he is yanking down an average of $9 mil a year in straight salary.

To be sure, $36 million is a startling figure, downright stupefying, for the A's, a downtrodden franchise that seems to take perverse delight in constantly hiding beneath its motto: ``Sure, we can afford to compete — but why bother when we're being forced to survive in a dump?''

The A's have always been big on going Moneyball on the franchise.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle appears to believe this could be a first step toward some wild expenditures for the Athletics.

Cespedes, a right-handed hitter, will give the A's power the team lacks in the middle of the order, and the team could make even bigger news later this week by signing DH Manny Ramirez. Even with Cespedes' addition, Ramirez is "still on the board," according to an Oakland source.

So, in the course of a few days, the A's could go from a snooze of a spring camp to a circus atmosphere: Cespedes was considered a top target this winter, while Ramirez, who has 555 career home runs, sat out most of last season after violating baseball's drug policy and must serve a 50-game suspension before he can play this year.


To talk about Cespedes and the A's, head on over to Athletics Nation.

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Yoenis Cespedes Signing: Oakland Athletics Outfield Impact

The Oakland Athletics stunned the baseball world on Monday as they announced the signing of Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes to a four year, $36 million contract. The Marlins and Tigers were among the favorites to land the Cuban star, but the A's swooped in almost out of nowhere to land Cespedes.

One of the big questions following this signing is where Cespedes will end up with the team. There has been some thought that he might start the season in the minor leagues, but that has quickly been dispatched with some rumors the A's might be prepared to move Coco Crisp out of Cespedes natural center field.

The A's enter 2012 with a wide open battle for the entire outfield due to Josh Willingham and David DeJesus departing this past offseason. They enter 2012 spring training with numerous outfield options, including:

Yoenis Cespedes
Collin Cowgill
Coco Crisp
Jonny Gomes
Jermaine Mitchell
Josh Reddick
Seth Smith
Michael Taylor

Cowgill was brought over via trade and figured to climb right into the outfield mix, but now the outfield is loaded with competitive talent. It leaves plenty of question marks as the A's head into spring training. Cespedes and Crisp would seem to be the two locks to get most of the outfield playing time, which leaves one spot and some DH time for a sizable group of youngsters and Jonny Gomes.

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Yoenis Cespedes Signing: Cuban Slugger Discusses Decision To Sign With Oakland Athletics

A physical exam is all that stands in the way of Yoenis Cespedes officially becoming an Oakland Athletic. MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez spoke with Cespedes to get a little insight into his thought process.

On signing:

"I am super happy because it's been a dream of mine for a long time," Cespedes told MLB.com from the Dominican Republic. "To leave my country and play in the big leagues is what the goal was. My family is really happy, too. They are living their dreams through me."

On goals:

"My first goal is to make the team and stay healthy all season, and little by little, I'll make more goals," Cespedes said. "I've been preparing every day for this and I 100 percent believe that I am ready for the Major Leagues. I have a lot of international experience and experience at a high level. I'm very confident in my abilities."

On choosing the A's over the Marlins:

"Miami was a great visit," Cespedes said. "I had a good time. I ate with the team president and other people in front office. They were nice and it was a great experience, but the A's were for me."

For more on the Oakland A's, check out Athletics Nation.

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Yoenis Cespedes' Highlight Video And Contract Breakdown

More: Fan Reaction to Cespedes Deal

So it's been learned that Yoenis Cespedes' contract breaks down into $5.6 million in his first year, $8.5 million in his second year and $10.5 million in each of the final two years of his contract, according to the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser.

If you haven't gotten a chance to check out the new Oakland Athletics centerfielder, here is a highlight video of him playing. It is 20 minutes long but you definitely get a sense of what he can do on a baseball field.

But try not to watch this around anyone who might judge you for your musical selections because the first song of choice is ‘Sailing', sung in a very depressing manner. It follows a Star Wars-esque opening. Whoever put this video together was both having too much fun as well as dealing with an extreme amount of time on their hands. It does save itself at the 6:40 mark with ‘Look At Me Now' by Chris Brown, Busta Rhymes and Lil'Wayne.

But that's neither here nor there.

Cespedes is a physical specimen. Watch and learn.

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Yoenis Cespedes Signs With Oakland Athletics For Four Years, $36 Million, According To Report

The Cuban center fielder is arguably the best all-around player to come out of Cuba in a generation.

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