January 7th, 2012
Our MLB.com Marlins reporter, Joe Frisaro, cites an industry source saying Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes will have his residency established in the Dominican Republic on Jan. 15, which will allow him to officially become a free agent and allow teams to talk to his agent, Adam Katz. That said, previous expected dates have come and gone, so it’s more of a hope than anything right now.
The Marlins are expected to take part in the bidding, as are the Tigers. The process, however, is a little different than standard free agency. According to another blog post on the Sun-Sentinel web site out of Fort Lauderdale, interested teams will submit sealed bids to Major League Baseball, which will then forward them to the agent. From there, teams can raise their bids. Cespedes is still free to accept whichever offer he wants, but with MLB as a middle man, the process is a little different.
How long that process will take is anyone’s guess, but it’s going to make for an interesting process, culminating with a team winning his rights and then having to adjust the roster on the fly as spring training nears.