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Nationals Free Agency Rumors 2011: Is Yoenis Cespedes Plan B In Washington?

We wrote earlier this week that the Nationals were still interested in first baseman Prince Fielder to add a little bit of pop to their lineup. But talks have reportedly hit a little bit of a snag, and with so many other options out there, the Nationals may be looking to move on to their plan b. According to a number of sources as compiled by our very own Federal Baseball, that other option might be Cuban center fielder Yoenis Cespedes.

Cespedes has yet to become a free agent officially, as he is still awaiting temporary citizenship in the Dominican Republic. But once that happens the move to become a free agent should happen pretty quickly.

Cespedes is still young and could be a building block player for the Nationals, while filling in their gaping whole in center field. But according to a chat with Bill Ladson of, Cespedes might not be able to walk right into the major leagues, as was originally reported.

I have never seen Cespedes play. However, last week, I spoke to an opposing scout who felt that Cespedes is not as big league ready as reports have indicated. The scout believes Cespedes will have problems hitting breaking balls and should start his professional career in Double-A. Based on published reports, it appears that the Nationals are trying hard to acquire Cespedes' services. I hope to know more once the Winter Meetings start in Dallas on Dec. 5.