Resolved: Yoenis Cespedes will open season as Oakland’s center fielder

Back in February, very few of us (except the Oakland fans) were excited to see Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes sign with the A's, because it guaranteed he'd play half his games in a homer-suppressing park. Cespedes' most valuable trait is presumably his power — he shares the single-season home run record in Cuba's top league — which makes the Coliseum a less-than-ideal landing spot for fantasy purposes.

But at least the A's are doing us a small favor by not stashing the 26-year-old outfielder in the minors to begin the season, and for that we can be grateful.  Cespedes will be the opening day center fielder for Oakland, making the trip to Japan for the two-game series with Seattle, March 28-29. (Yes, those games count in Yahoo! leagues. Week 1 of the head-to-head season runs from March 28 to April 8. Details here). Coco Crisp will be bumped to left, a move he's not too crazy about.

Cespedes is just 3-for-20 this spring with one homer and six Ks, so it's not entirely accurate to say that he forced his way into the starting lineup. But he's there nonetheless, bringing clarity to a cluttered roster. I'm not reaching for Cespedes in drafts or auctions, nor are many other industry folks, from what I can tell. (Notable exception: Brad Evans). I was involved in an expert-ish draft this afternoon, after the Cespedes news broke, and he fell to Round 16. His neighborhood looked like this:

Pick, Player
181, Ervin Santana
182, Chris Sale
183, Jeff Francoeur
184, Johnny Cueto
185, Jason Kubel
186, Aaron Hill
187, Martin Prado
188, Torii Hunter
189, Josh Willingham
190, Delmon Young
191, Yoenis Cespedes
192, Jaime Garcia

So there you go. There's clearly profit potential at that price, and it's never difficult to replace a struggling outfielder in a mixed league. Thus, Cespedes doesn't present huge risk. If you're feeling unusually bullish on Yoenis (maybe like this guy), let's hear the case in comments...