Washington Nationals Still Interested In Cuban Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.

The Washington Nationals have expressed interest in Yoenis Cespedes since his name and his catchy YouTube video first caught everyone's attention a few weeks back and they've apparently been watching/scouting him since long before then. Washington Post reporter Adam Kilgore wrote about the Nationals' interest in Cespedes in the first week of November in a story entitled, "Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes on the Nationals’ radar." Cespedes hit 33 HR's in 90 games last season in Cuba, and according to the Washington Post writer "multiple Nationals talent evaluators" were in attendance to watch a public workout/showcase the 26-year-old outfielder had recently in the Dominican Republic. A team official who spoke to the writer at the time told him, "'We know a lot about him.'"

Yahoo!Sports.com's Jeff Passan (on the Twitter (@JeffPassan), citing a report by Yahoo!Sports.com's Tim Brown, put the Nats on a list of interested teams at the time too, writing on the Twitter, "The full list of Yoenis Cespedes suitors from @TBrownYahoo: Yankees, Phillies, Marlins, Blue Jays, Giants, Nationals, Indians, A's, Pirates." In FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal's article yesterday entitled, "Nats show interest in Fielder, Cespedes", the bow-tied FOXSports.com reporter cited sources who told him that the Nationals were targeting Prince Fielder, "... and view Cuban outfielder Yoennis Cespedes as a potential Plan B, according to major-league sources."

"Talks with Fielder hit a significant roadblock on Monday, one source said, prompting the Nats to revisit Cespedes as an alternative," Mr. Rosenthal wrote. Cespedes is not yet available, but in an interview on MLB Network Radio this afternoon, Cespedes' agent Adam Katz told Kevin Kennedy and Jim Duquette that Cespedes' status should be settled relatively soon. His agent described the outfielder as, "... obviously very strong, very fast, very quick. Explosive. And what's most interesting about him," Mr. Katz said, "is he's not mechanical like some of those really strong guys we've seen over the years. He's a very fluid athlete and a natural baseball player. He's been way more heavily scouted than has been let on. People have seen him and know what they have here, so it's not quite the unknown quantity that people are sort of saying."

MLB.com's Bill Ladson, on Monday in responding to a question in the most recent edition of his, "Inbox: Is Lannan in Nats' plans for next year?", reported that he'd spoken to, "... an opposing scout who felt that Cespedes is not as big league ready as reports have indicated. The scout believes Cespedes will have problems hitting breaking balls and should start his professional career in Double-A." If the Nats are interested in the outfielder, do their scouts think he's more advanced than the scout Mr. Ladson spoke to? Will Washington be willing to pay Cespedes what he's asking for if they don't think he can step right in to the major league lineup?

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