<
>

Yanks in on Cespedes?

Well, maybe not "in,'' in, but "not completely out,'' according to a source with knowledge of the pursuit of Yoenis Cespedes, the Cuban emigre outfielder and YouTube sensation. As many as six teams are said to covet Cespedes, and the Yankees may still be one of them.

"They're just laying in the weeds right now,'' said the source, "but don't be surprised if they get involved once Cespedes declares free agency.''

Cespedes needs to establish residence in the Dominican Republic, where he is currently playing winter ball, before he can become a free agent. That is expected to happen either by the end of January or early in February.

The Yankees like what they have seen of Cespedes, but have expressed reservations about his age (26), his pricetag (expected to be in the $50 million range for five years), and his ability to immediately transition to major league baseball.

As for their continued claim that they "don't have the money'' to sign Cespedes, the source said, "That's like me saying I can't buy something for $500 because I only have $300 in my pocket. Believe me, for the right guy they can always adjust their budget.''

Is Cespedes the "right guy?'' A call to Yanks GM Brian Cashman was not immediately returned.