Braves among teams that checked out Yoenis Cespedes

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According to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, Yoenis Cespedes held a showcase for interested major-league clubs on Tuesday. Eleven teams attended, and among the representatives was one from the Atlanta Braves.

Cespedes had a weird 2020. After a slow start, he essentially went AWOL on the Mets, failing to tell anyone that he was planning on opting out for the remainder of the season. Perhaps he had a valid reason for doing so, but it seemed almost like he gave up on the team.

Still, it wasn’t long ago that Cespedes was one of the most feared sluggers in the league. He smashed 35 homers in 2015 and followed it up with an All-Star appearance in 2016, finishing eighth in the NL MVP voting that season. It really appeared like he would be a thorn in the Braves’ side for years to come, but injuries have caused his value to spiral downwards.

Cespedes only played in 119 games combined between 2017-2018. He did hit 26 homers with an .869 OPS over that span but could just never stay healthy. Even worse, he’s only played in eight games since.

At 35, Cespedes could still have something left in the tank. I don’t imagine he’ll ever be an everyday option again, but for a team like the Braves with so many question marks on their bench, he certainly could be worth a look. We’ve seen Alex Anthopoulos take risks on aging stars before, like when he acquired Jose Bautista in 2018, and most recently, Yasiel Puig prior to last season. For various reasons, neither of those signings panned out, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he bought another lottery ticket this late in the offseason.

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Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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