Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Cuban star sees Marlins' new digs

MIAMI — Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes toured the Marlins' new downtown ballpark Wednesday, the first leg of what's expected to be his tour of interested clubs.

Cespedes, 26, played for Cuba in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and is projected to be ready for the majors. Cespedes says six teams are interested in signing him, including the Marlins, Orioles, Tigers, Indians, Cubs and White Sox.

The Marlins are considered a favorite, but they're not tipping their hand.

"It was good to see him again," team president David Samson said on his weekly segment of "The Dan LeBatard Show." "We hadn't seen him since he was in the Dominican. He's still not a free agent officially.

"But he was able to be in town for some appointments, I guess. He wanted to come and see the ballpark, and we're always happy to show people the ballpark."

Cespedes donned a hard hat for his walkthrough at the almost-completed park in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood. In Spanish, he said he believes the Marlins "can compete for a World Series" as early as this season.

"It would be good (to play here)," Cespedes told reporters at Miami International Airport on Tuesday. "There are a lot of Cubans and they would support me a lot. Hopefully I can play for the Marlins."

Major League Baseball says Cespedes cannot finalize a contract until he obtains an unblocking license from the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control.

In other Marlins news, infielder/outfielder Emilio Bonifacio became the second player to defeat the team in arbitration this year and will receive a $2.2 million salary. Right-hander Anibal Sanchez won his case Monday and will make $8 million.

DRUG EDUCATION: The Baseball Hall of Fame is starting a drug education program for students and young adults, and in the same year that Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa will appear on the ballot for the first time after careers marked by steroid accusations.

While adding PEDs to RBIs and ERAs among its interests, the Hall emphasized Wednesday that its new initiative wasn't tied to the former stars up for election or the people who will choose them.

"It is not intended to cast a directive to voters about Hall of Fame worthy candidates," shrine president Jeff Idelson said.

Mark McGwire, 10th on the career home run list, has never come close to election after admitting he used steroids and human growth hormone. Neither has Rafael Palmeiro, who was suspended for a positive test for performance-enhancing drugs.

ASTROS: Shortstop Jed Lowrie avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $1.15 million, one-year contract.

ORIOLES: First baseman Nick Johnson, 33, is close to agreeing to a minor-league deal.

PADRES: Right-hander Jeff Suppan, 37, agreed to a minor-league contract.

RANGERS: Shortstop Elvis Andrus finalized a $14.4 million, three-year contract that avoided arbitration.

REDS: Outfielder Ryan Ludwick, 33, signed a one-year contract, and left-hander Jeff Francis, 31, signed a minor-league deal.

RED SOX: Australian left-hander Daniel McGrath, 17, signed a professional contract. He'll join the team for spring training then return to Australia to finish high school.

YANKEES: Infielder Russell Branyan agreed to a minor-league contract and will try to win a bench job. Branyan, 36, spent part of the 2006 season with the Rays.

Cuban star sees Marlins' new digs 02/08/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 9:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. U.S. repeats as Solheim Cup champion


    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Lexi Thompson set the tone by rallying from four holes down. The rest of the Americans took it from there and restored their dominance in the Solheim Cup

    Lexi Thompson, left, comes back from four holes down to halve the day’s first singles match with Europe’s Anna Nordqvist to set the tone for the United States.
  2. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  3. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener


    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  4. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush


    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  5. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.