When Justin Upton signed with the Tigers, Yoenis Cespedes' market shrank. While Al Avila had stated at the Winter Meetings that Detroit wasn't considering their former outfielder anymore, there always seemed to be a slim chance that with Mike Illitch as the owner, a reunion could happen. However after committing $132 million to Upton, that chance went from slim to none.
Now that a legitimate landing spot has been taken away from Cespedes, there isn't a clear frontrunner to sign him. However just today, there have been multiple rumors surrounding the outfielder.
Unfortunately for Angels fans, the answer is still no when it comes to Cespedes. While they have a clear need for a left fielder, as Daniel Nava is currently listed as the number one depth starter, they're reportedly unwilling to break the luxury tax threshold.
In case you're wondering, hearing nothing has changed with the Angels: Still want to stay under the tax, still not going after Cespedes.— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) January 19, 2016
Cespedes might not get the six-year deal that he wanted when the offseason began, but unless he's willing to drastically reduce his asking price for his AAV, there doesn't seem to be a realistic chance that he'll wind up in Anaheim for the 2016 season.
Despite having an outfield of Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, Giancarlo Stanton, and Ichiro Suzuki, Miami is apparently interested in Cespedes.
Sources: #Marlins among teams that have discussed pursuing Cespedes on short-term deal. Likely would require accompanying trade of Ozuna.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 19, 2016
When the offseason began, a trade of Ozuna seemed like a guarantee. The Marlins owner, Jeffrey Loria, was reportedly furious with the outfielder, and simply didn't want him to play; even though he had returned to his 2014 levels of production after a prolonged stay in the minor leagues. However as of today, he's still a member of the Marlins, and has Barry Bonds and Don Mattingly in his camp.
A trade doesn't seem likely, but if Cespedes were to sign with Miami, someone in their outfield would undoubtedly have to go; and Ozuna would make the most sense.
Earlier this month, the Nationals acquired Ben Revere to be their starting center fielder. While that gives them a starting trio of Jayson Werth, Revere, and Bryce Harper, adding Cespedes would provide Washington with much more offensive fire power.
The Nationals don't appear to be in the same situation as the Angels, but unless his price drops, they won't enter the market for the outfielder.
Like every other team on this list, Atlanta is interested in Cespedes, but only if he doesn't require a long-term deal.
If Cespedes doesn't get long-term deal he seeks, #Braves still there ready to move on short-term deal if he wants. Don't hold your breath.— David O'Brien (@DOBrienAJC) January 19, 2016
While the Braves could likely offer Cespedes the AAV he desires, it's fair to wonder if he'd even want to play for Atlanta right now. The Braves haven't come out and directly said that they're not planning on competing for the next two seasons, but unless they get surprise production from the majority of their roster, the next two years are going to be tough to watch for Braves fans.
Throughout the entire offseason, Mets fans have pleaded with their ownership and front office to bring back Cespedes. He was unequivocally fantastic during his time with New York, but his asking price and desired contract length prevented any negotiations from truly developing. However if his demands keep falling, both in money and years, the Mets could jump back into the fold.
Cespedes has made it clear he loves NY - and that might give Mets tiebreaker against similar offers. But he won't leave huge $$$ on table.— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) January 19, 2016
If the Mets can be in the range of another teams offer, they might have the advantage due to Cespedes' love of New York. It's been no secret that he enjoyed his time with the Mets, as Cespedes had a clause struck from his contract which would have prevented New York from negotiating with him this late in the offseason.
With less than a month until spring training gets underway, Cespedes' time to sign a new contract is running out. While he could undoubtedly hold out, and hope that a team gets desperate before the start of the season, that seems unlikely. A recent report suggested that at least 10 teams are interested in the slugger, and that he could sign in the next few days. It's unclear how advanced some of his negotiations might be, but with Upton off the board, and the rumor mill heating up, the Cespedes saga could be coming to a close relatively soon.