Originally written on Sliding Into Home  |  Last updated 12/6/11

I find myself very torn on Cespedes.

The Yankees are lacking high-impact outfield prospects in the upper levels of the farm system, which could be an issue with Swisher (2012) and Granderson (2013) approaching free agency. Signing Cespedes would quash that issue immediately, albeit at a fairly high cost, while (possibly) allowing the Yankees to shop Swisher for help in the rotation. The latter, of course, assumes that Cespedes is ready for the Show ... which he very well may be. Based upon Cespedes' Cuban League statistics, ZiPS guru Dan Szymborski projects a .270/.331/.435 line, with 23 HR and 9 SB in 2012. I would take such production in a heartbeat.

It's also worth noting that the track record of Cuban position players is superior to their pitching brethren. Yunel Escobar, Alexei Ramirez, and Kendrys Morales (pre-injuries) have met expectations in recent memory, Tony Perez is in the Hall of Fame, and Tony Oliva has a fairly compelling argument, to boot.

Despite this, the risk is still obvious. Cespedes will command a fairly substantial contract and a spot on the 40-man roster, and he does not have any experience in the United States. In transitioning to Major League Baseball, he will also have to deal with language and cultural barriers. Considering that he will likely seek a guarantee to start in the Majors at some point in 2012 ... I would argue he's even more of a gamble than Yu Darvish.

In the end, I think Cespedes is a worthwhile gamble, particularly if he is willing to work his way from Double-A to the Majors. I would be hesitant to deal Swisher and open 2012 with Cespedes manning right field, but if the front office is confident in the Cuban wunderkind's ability to step into the Yankees line-up, I suppose I could be swayed.

Follow me on Twitter - @DomenicLanza
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

49ers OC: Kaepernick didn’t regress as much as believed

John Calipari may coach Kentucky until he is 73

Eric Berry cleared to practice with Chiefs

WATCH: Pedro Martinez's number retired in ceremony

Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia suspended 162 games for PEDs


Brady told staff to hand copy of game ball rules to officials

Phillies agree to send Jonathan Papelbon to Nationals

Report: Russell Wilson to end contract negotiations Friday

Report: Brady authorizes NFLPA to appeal his case in court

NFL, NFLPA reduce Le'Veon Bell suspension

Tim Brown: Cardinals new coach Jen Welter is 'tough as nails'

Luther Campbell jabs FSU coach over decommitment

WATCH: Royals infielders combine for incredible play

Cowboys DE Jeremy Mincey to hold out of training camp

Terry Bollea's self-destruction: Hulkamania as social construct

Lou Holtz: ND has 'legitimate chance' to make playoff

Golfer Billy Hurley III asks for help finding missing father

Dismissed Clemson DE tweets he hates cops after arrest

Smith to report to camp, no charges filed for child abuse

Angels stockpile outfielders, acquire Murphy and DeJesus

Penguins trade Brandon Sutter to the Canucks

Ronda Rousey willing to fight Miesha Tate a third time

Mexico fires coach for alleged brawl after Gold Cup win

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NFL upholds Tom Brady's suspension, legal battle likely

Cardinals hire first female NFL coach

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Seau family: HOF broke their word

Kobe to see time at power forward next year

Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel

Galette appears to unload on Payton

Dez Bryant in 'financial distress' before signing new deal

Top 10 CFB coaches on the hot seat

Was Popovich close to retiring last year?

Kyle Busch continues historic run with Brickyard win

WATCH: Mike Trout HR lands in 'Trout Net'

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker