Yoenis Cespedes is a physical exam away from officially being an Oakland Athletic. That's a decision he has made on purpose. MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez spoke with Cespedes to get a little insight into his thought process.
"I am super happy because it's been a dream of mine for a long time," Cespedes told MLB.com from the Dominican Republic. "To leave my country and play in the big leagues is what the goal was. My family is really happy, too. They are living their dreams through me."
"My first goal is to make the team and stay healthy all season, and little by little, I'll make more goals," Cespedes said. "I've been preparing every day for this and I 100 percent believe that I am ready for the Major Leagues. I have a lot of international experience and experience at a high level. I'm very confident in my abilities."
On Monday, the 26-year-old outfielder agreed to a four-year, $36 million contract with Oakland, citing the reputation of A's general manager Billy Beane and the direction of the franchise among the reasons he chose the A's.
It didn't hurt that one of Cespedes' favorite players growing up in Cuba was former Oakland shortstop Miguel Tejada.
If we want to be cynical, we can say that Cespedes probably signed with the A's because the A's offered the best combination of money and proximity to free agency. He'll get the $36 million he would've gotten from the Marlins, but this way he'll hit free agency in four years, not six. I'm sure that was a big factor. But I like to think that Cespedes is genuinely excited - not just about playing, but about playing for the A's in particular. I like to think that that can happen, because the A's can be kind of depressing, and I don't want baseball to be depressing.
Do you think Cespedes was influenced in any way by Moneyball? In any way at all? He must've been, right? At least just a little bit?