Each White Sox outfield target as a Christmas gift
Yoenis Cespedes: The iPhone 6s
Yoenis Cespedes is your classic iPhone 6s. It’s really a flashy gift, especially if you opt for the gold edition.
For 2016, it might even be the best move.
Cespedes is coming off a 2015 that saw him slash .291/.328/.542 with 35 home runs, 42 doubles, and 6 triples.
Could you imagine pairing him with Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier?
The athletic outfielder possesses plus corner defense and a canon for an arm, and guess what; he won’t cost a comp pick.
The problem with Cespedes is his age. He’ll be 30 years old entering the 2016 season and it might take a six-year deal at around a $20 million aav to land him. Paying a 35 year old Cespedes over $20 million in 2021 is not at the top of my Christmas list.
When you remove Cespedes’ 2015 season from a vacuum, his full body of work looks less impressive. It’s obviously been a decent career for the Cuban slugger, but after a solid rookie campaign in 2012, he followed it up with .737 and .751 OPS seasons in ’13 and ’14 respectively.
That’s still an upgrade in left field for Chicago from both an offensive and defensive standpoint, but it’s a far cry from his .870 OPS in 2015, or much less his .942 post-trade OPS with the New York Mets.
Yes, an iPhone 6s is extremely attractive now, but what about in 4 years when the holographic iPhone 9 is set to come out.
Plus, as the cellular device ages, it’s function decreases. Soon it’s dated and maybe the screen’s even cracked.
The cracks in Cespedes’ game are there. Whether it’s in the fluctuating performance track record (his 6.7 WAR in 2015 is vastly different than his 2.9 average WAR over 2012-2014, his supposed prime), or in his overall profile.
Cespedes makes a lot of hard contact, and his 20.9% strike out rate isn’t too worrisome. The issue is whether or not that contact weakens as he ages. His .294/.301 OBP marks in 2013/2014, along with his 4.9% walk rate in ’15 could be the first symptoms that his approach could implode in Chicago.
We’ve certainly seen it happen before on the South Side.
Some of his value is inevitably tied into his defense, and once that falls off, there will be even more pressure for him to hit.
.942 OPS Cespedes looks great. He’ll be a stud in 2016 and possibly 2017, but the backend of that deal may not be pretty.
Just like a brand new iPhone, the allure might wear off pretty soon.
Next: Alex Gordon: The Used Hugo Boss Suit