As many as 10 clubs have expressed interest in free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and there is a chance he could sign as soon as this week, according to ESPN's Jim Bowden.
Why this rumor makes sense
Cespedes has long been considered one of the top free agent outfielders, so it makes sense multiple teams have considered signing him of late. Bowden points out a deal could be agreed upon within "the next few days," which could also have a significant effect on the market for Justin Upton.
Now that the Orioles and Chris Davis agreed to a deal, it should follow that the market for Cespedes becomes a bit more clear. Baltimore reportedly made an offer to Cespedes, but that was thought to be used as leverage to get Davis to re-sign.
Baltimore could still consider Cespedes if he is open to accepting a short-term deal, but if that is the case, several other initially uninterested clubs might also get involved.
Cespedes is thought to be seeking at least a six-year deal that would pay him $22 million annually. The Orioles appeared open to giving him a five-year, $90 million deal, and some teams might not be willing to give Cespedes a deal worth more than that.
With Alex Gordon and Denard Span off the board, the market for outfielders has developed. It is likely only a matter of time before Cespedes joins a major league club.
Why this rumor does not make sense
Cespedes had a ton of success last season, batting .291/.328/.542 to complement 35 home runs and 107 RBIs. Any team that adds Cespedes would likely be improving its lineup and outfield.
Although Cespedes is currently the outfielder being mentioned in rumors, that could change quickly. If one or two clubs express interest in Upton, the market for Cespedes would almost certainly be affected.
While Cespedes had a better year than Upton, he has waited this long to make a decision. At this point, a month before the start of Spring Training, what's the point in hurrying?
Likeliness overall: 6/10
Cespedes will probably join a club this week. But it likely will not come without other clubs considering Upton first.