Red Sox left fielder Yoenis Cespedes has decided to switch agents to join Robinson Cano and teammate Rusney Castillo with Jay Z's Roc Nation Sports. Cespedes is set to become a free agent after the 2015 season, and odds are the Red Sox are going to want to hold on to the power hitting outfielder. However, that may have become more difficult with Cespedes' recent decision.
Roc Nation is the agency that represents Seattle Mariners' second baseman Robinson Cano. When Cano was a free agent after the 2013 season, he went looking for a big pay day, which he got. He signed a ten-year, $240 million deal with the M's. However, it looked as though the deal would not happen when Jay Z came in looking for a tenth year, one more than the nine year deal the Mariners had offered.
Jay Z also represents Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo. Castillo, who we do not know anything about, received a record deal for a Cuban baseball player when the Sox gave him $72.5 million over six years. While that is a good deal compared to today's standard for free agents, it is more than any other Cuban has received. That includes Yasiel Puig, Jose Abreu, and Aroldis Chapman to name a few.
Will the Red Sox having dealt with Jay Z in the past help the parties come to a deal? Unlikely. If anything, the change in agency hurts the chances Cespedes will remain here past 2015. Roc Nation has made it very clear that they wish to get the most money possible for their client and the Red Sox have altered their philosophy and are no longer interested in the long-term deal for players over the age of 30. Cespedes turned 29 two days ago (October 20), meaning he will be 30 on Opening Day of 2016. To retain Cespedes, the team would likely have to go above and beyond their comfort zone, something I am not sure they will do. This could mean that we see Cespdes dealt over the offseason.
Cespedes' bat in the middle of the lineup is a necessity, and a player with that kind of skill set is difficult to find. With David Ortiz another year older, replacing the power bat in the heart of the order is a must. Cespedes could be that guy, but his services will most certainly cost them.
In 51 games with the Red Sox, Cespedes hit .269 with five home runs and 33 RBIs. Between Boston and Oakland, the outfielder hit .260 with 22 home runs and exactly 100 RBIs.
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