Jeffrey Loria's shopping spree isn't over. Several reports indicate the Marlins are committed to outbidding anyone who stands in their way of landing recently defected Cuban star Yoennis Cespedes once the MLB declares him a free agent. It makes sense. Not only would Cespedes be the cherry atop the Marlins' new talent sundae, but the slugging center fielder's backstory would also pique interest among locals.
Marlins President David Samson has already told the media that he plans to be "aggressive right to the point of stupidity" in his pursuit of Cespedes.
Now, ESPN reporter Jim Bowden tweets, "Marlins remain committed to outbidding the Cubs and Tigers for Yoennis Cespedes if and when he ever attains free agency."
Yes, the Chicago Cubs and Detroit Tigers are also interested in landing the Cuban outfielder, but the Marlins have the most to gain.
Of course, both Samson and Marlins baseball czar Larry Beinfest know Cespedes brings more than his slugging to the team. A Cuban defector would be huge in Miami. He'd be the only big signee who would excite his potential fan base more by denouncing Fidel Castro than promising a World Series.
"Obviously, as a Cuban, we think it would be an interesting fit in this market and on this ball club," Beinfest said last year.
'[We're] making it very clear to his representatives and to him and his family that we think he should not be anywhere other than Miami," Samson echoes. "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."
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Cespedes defected from Cuba to the Dominican Republic last summer. The MLB is expected to declare him an eligible free agent sometime this off-season.
Cespedes started in center field for Cuba during the 2009 World Baseball Classic and was considered one of the best hitters on the island before fleeing.