We're just a few weeks into the offseason, yet the Washington Nationals continue to make headlines in free agency. The Nationals signed Chien-Ming Wang to a one-year deal last week, are reportedly interested in making a big push for Roy Oswalt, and now, according to reports, are interested in finding their center field of the future in the form of Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes.
Multiple Nationals talent evaluators, according to a team official, attended a workout Friday in the Dominican Republic that showcased Cespedes, a power-hitting center fielder regarded as the second-best player in Cuba behind third baseman Yulieski Gourriel.
Cespedes, who is reportedly 26, made a splash at the World Baseball Classic in 2009 hitting two home runs and three triples in six games for Cuba. Last season, Cespedes raked all year, hitting 33 HRs and slugging .667 for the season. Very impressive stuff.
So what would prevent the Nationals from acquiring Cespedes? Money, for one. It's believed that the talented CF will command upwards of $30 million on the open market.
The Nationals received only so-so play from their center fields in 2010. Rick Ankiel (106 games), Roger Bernadina (56 games) and Jayson Werth (19 games) all hit under .250 for the year.