|The newest/highest paid member of the Oakland Athletics|
So I totally shit the bed on Sunday when I said the Yankees were gonna be the surprise team in on Cespedes. The Oakland A's (of all teams) came out of nowhere with $36MM in hand and signed him for four years. I'm not exactly sure what the hell to make of this, because the A's have made it pretty clear by stripping their rotation and trading off their closer that they do not intend to compete in the next year, or likely the year after that.
One argument could be made that if Cespedes succeeds to an ideal extent, an unlikely scenario by my estimate, that the $36MM four year deal could be a bargain. He has huge raw power and is going to be given an immediate shot in the bigs to become the A's every day right fielder. There is an immense hype surrounding the defector, who put up a .333/.424/.667 line with 33 home runs in 99 RBIs in 90 games over 2010-2011, but he's playing in unfamiliar territory. I'll get in to what this means for the A's specifically more when I do my offseason review (get ready for 15 paragraphs on the impact of Jonny Gomes), but for now I'll say this. If Cespedes pays off and performs to his ceiling, Billy Beane will have maybe earned his extension, if not, he's going to make Lew Wolff look like the biggest rube on the planet.