All of last week, it seemed a foregone conclusion that Yoenis Cespedes would sign with Miami. The Marlins had the ability to offer him years, money and what looked to be a pretty perfect situation for the 26-year-old Cuban defector. The Cubs begun focusing their attention on Jorge Soler, while the White Sox appeared to be pulling out of the fray to sign a Cuban defector this winter.
Detroit and Baltimore also were rumored to be involved in the bidding for Cespedes. So, naturally, he signed with the Athletics on a four-year, 36 million deal.
The same Athletics that have gone all-in on rebuilding, trading away Andrew Bailey, Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez during the offseason. Four years of Yoenis Cespedes doesn't do much for a team that may not contend in the top-heavy AL West until the last year of Cespedes' deal at best.
Cespedes' deal nets him more dollars per year -- a 9 million average -- that he would've got from Miami's reported six-year, 36 million offer. He'll hit free agency sooner, which was probably he and agent Adam Katz' motivation here. Unless Cespedes completely flames out by 2015, he'll make more money taking the Athletics' deal than that of the Marlins.
The Cubs and White Sox aren't really in dire straits after missing out on Cespedes. The Cubs would've had to move an outfielder to make room for him anyway, and while he could've been a vehicle for the benching of Alex Rios or Adam Dunn on the South Side, there's far too much money involved to make that a viable move for the Sox.