There could be a new name to add to the list of players being targeted by the Baltimore Orioles at the trade deadline: Yoenis Cespedes. According to a report by Mike Axisa from CBS Sports (click here for the full article), the O’s might be looking at acquiring the services of Cespedes, who’s also a pending free agent. Cespedes is hitting .289 for Detroit this year, which is a bit of a bounceback after hitting only .260 cummulatively for both Oakland and Boston last season.
Mote so than the rumors about San Diego’s Upton or Milwaukee’s Gomez, I suspect this is one that will truly raise the eyebrows of Orioles fans. First off, Cespedes is an outfielder which is something that the Orioles sorely need. However his big addition to the Orioles’ lineup would be that of power. I suspect that his power has probably suffered just a bit this year given the dimensions of Comerica Park, however it’s potential is not something that can be in doubt.
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Detroit is teetering on the edge of starting from scratch, and the odds of them keeping their team together as the summer moves on is probably not good. I’ve also heard that starter David Price could be on the trade market as well. As is the case with anyone else however, the question is at what cost would Cespedes come? Might the Orioles be forced to sacrifice someone of sincere value for a player of his caliber?
When I say someone of sincere value, I mean a prospect on par with a Dariel Alvarez or even a Christian Walker. And that’s something that’s going to be a tough thing for a lot of Orioles fans to grasp. It really boils down to whether or not the Orioles and Dan Duquette feel that they can truly make a legitimate run at defending their AL East crown.
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And that point right there might well be one of contention in a sense. Is the goal to win the AL East, or the World Series? Every team’s goal is to win the World Series – without any doubt. However the way baseball works is that first you have to get to October. Once you get there, all best are off. Would anyone have predicted that San Francisco and Kansas City would have been in the World Series at the end one year ago on this date? Probably not.
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Cespedes is a guy that would give the Orioles a leg up in the AL East – there can be little doubt about that. This is not to say that he’s “priceless,” however he would certainly help to replace both Cruz and Markakis in a sense given that he’s a corner outfielder with power. That’s something the O’s have lacked for the entire season.
But he’s also a guy towards whom teams would have to be wary in October – if they get there. So it’s really a matter of if he’s the right fit (both on and off the field, mind you), and whether or not the Birds have the resources to make the deal. If they find out that they do based on conversations with Detroit, Cespedes will be an Oriole at some point (it should also be noted that they aren’t the only team that’s interested).