On February 13 2012 — – The A’s sign OF Yoenis Cespedes to a four-year contract worth $36 million, a record for a Cuban defector, outbidding at least five other teams. The signing belies some of the A’s other off-season moves in which they traded established young players in return for prospects, but they see Cespedes as a future franchise player, and his outstanding rookie season will be a key contribution in the A’s unexpected AL West division title.

The Cuban defector, who is slotted to play center field, moving Coco Crisp to left, hit .458 with a double, three triples, two home runs, and five RBIs in the six games he played in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

 

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