Friday, February 10, 2012
Ozzie Guillen talks Yoenis Cespedes
New Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen calls Yoenis Cespedes "pretty impressive," but he said it's no slam dunk that the Cuban defector ends up in Miami.
Marlins president David Samson has already said that they would like the outfielder but don't have to have him, and Guillen reiterated that.
"I heard Mr. Samson say something very interesting yesterday," Guillen said on the "Waddle and Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000 in Chicago. "He said, 'We have a great ballclub. And we're happy with what we have.'"
Call it posturing, but Guillen said the Marlins aren't the only team in the running, saying he thinks "they're promoting this kid all over the place. That's why you have an agent. You as a player, you know where you want to go."
Cespedes met with the Marlins and toured their new ballpark on Wednesday. He was possibly headed back to the Dominican Republic, where he has obtained residency, Thursday, but it's not clear if that happened.
His agent, Adam Katz, said Cespedes did not speak to other teams while in Florida. The Cubs, White Sox and Tigers are among the teams that have shown interest.
"We went to the Dominican Republic, myself and 10 guys," Guillen said. "
We went to see this kid. He's pretty impressive. They compare this kid with a lot of people. They compare this kid with Bo Jackson. Well Bo Jackson wasn't a baseball player. This kid is a baseball player. They compare him with (Raul) Mondesi. I think Mondesi was better than him. That's my own opinion. Mondesi has a better arm, faster, but this kid is pretty good."
There has been speculation that Cespedes could command a $60 million contract. That commitment makes Guillen nervous.
"There are a lot of question marks out there," he said. "How's he going to handle major league pitching? We don't know. How's he going to handle major league media? We don't know. There are a lot of ifs. Whoever signs him is gambling."
Guillen does like Cespedes' confidence.
"I saw him say something yesterday: 'I'm not coming to the United States to play in the minor leagues.' Well, that thing can go either way. I don't blame the kid. But people don't look at that as the right answer. To me it's the right answer: 'I come here to play in the big leagues.'"
Still, there are question marks.
"The tools are there," Guillen said. "But you never know what's going to happen."