A’s manager Bob Melvin has always been honest about the fact he gets close to his players. Both present and former. He especially took a liking to former Oakland outfielder Yoenis Céspedes.
Cespedes, 35, held a showcase last Tuesday in Fort Pierce, Fla. in front of teams in hopes of landing a job with any one of them. Melvin said he reached out to Cespedes about it and said he knows the two-time All-Star could make a difference on any team.
“I saw a little bit of the video of his showcase, Melvin told reporters on Wednesday. “I sent him a message, we’re not in a position, unfortunately, but man I really believe whoever picks him up, he’s going to help them.”
Sources told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo Cespedes showed off some arm strength and power during the showcase and a scout added “he can go be someone’s DH.”
With the A’s acquiring Mitch Moreland this offseason, that someone will not be Oakland.
When asked if Cespedes was a Jed Lowrie-type where he could take two years off and still make some type of comeback, Melvin confidently said yes.
“I have no doubt that he could,” Melvin explained.
Cespedes was a free-agent signee by the A’s in 2012 and earned his first All-Star selection in 2014 with the team before being traded to the Boston Red Sox in July for starting pitcher Jon Lester, outfielder Jonny Gomes and cash considerations.
Since then, it’s been a roller coaster of injuries and waiting. He originally was supposed to be the New York Mets’ designated hitter in 2020, but decided to opt-out after eight games.
Before then, he hadn’t played in an MLB game since 2018.
In addition to his strength, Cespedes was someone you noticed. He has star power and the A’s were the team to introduce him to the baseball world in the US.
Across eight career seasons, Cespedes slashed a .273/.327/.497 line with an .824 OPS and 165 home runs and 870 hits.
“When he’s motivated, he’s as electric player as I’ve ever had,” Melvin added. “I wish him the best. I hope he hooks on with somebody soon and like I said, I have no doubt that he would contribute to any team that picked him up.”