Cuban Defectors Revisited
Meanwhile, Cespedes signed a four-year deal for $36M on February 13, 2012 with the Oakland Athletics. The 2012 season included a bevy of highlight plays from Cespedes as he .292/.356/.505 with 23 homers, five triples and 16 stolen bases. He helped the A’s claim the AL West title and finished second in ROY voting. Cespedes split his time between CF (48 games), LF (56) and DH (26). The scouting report on Cespedes has him projected as a corner outfielder with a below average hit tool and above average power.
Though the fanfare did not follow him, Martin was labeled an above-average defender, hitter and his ceiling is an All-Star centerfielder. This season Martin has flashed all of those things as he has hit .286/.336/.438 with four triples and eight stolen bases. Cespedes has regressed slightly this year with a slash line of .228/.301/.456, but his power (nine homers) has helped maintained an above average OPS+ (103).
The season is still young and both players still have a couple years on their contracts remaining, but Martin could be the valued signing when it is all said and done. He is lining up to be the best everyday centerfielder for the Rangers since Gary Matthews, Jr. Compared to Cespedes, Martin is younger, cheaper and can play a premium position on a ballclub. No pomp and circumstance needed for this guy, just an opportunity to play day in and day out.