Cuban slugger tours Marlins Park

By Will Manso, Sports Director, wmanso@Local10.com
Published On: Feb 08 2012 04:51:06 PM EST
Updated On: Feb 08 2012 10:36:05 PM EST

One day after arriving in the United States, Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes stepped on the field at the new Marlins Park in Little Havana. 

The 26-year old slugger spent the day with team executives to discuss the potential of signing with Miami.  The Marlins have made it no secret they would like to get him.

Cespedes seems excited about the possibility of playing for the Fish, but says he will leave it up to his representatives to speak about a contract with the Marlins and other teams, as well.

He's highly sought after because of his power and speed combination.  The Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles have all reportedly shown interest in the outfielder.

The Marlins are the first team to meet with him in the US and still appear to be the frontrunners to sign him.  The team is prepared to make a substantial offer, even though it's not known if that offer was presented during the meeting.

Cespedes is said to be looking for a contract in excess of 40 million dollars.  It's not clear if Miami would be willing to go that high, but the team is clearly interested in putting the Cuban slugger in a Marlins uniform.

The Fish envision him as a centerfielder and middle-of-the-order type hitter.  He set a Cuban league record by crushing 32 home runs last season before defecting to the Dominican Republic.

He had to wait to get his residency in the Dominican before being declared a free agent by Major League Baseball.  While he can agree to terms with a team, he still can't officially sign a contract.  He is currently in the United States on a visitor's visa.

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