In an article for the San Francisco Gate, John Shea analyzes the idea that the recent success of the Oakland Athletics has Major Leaguers looking at the team in a different light. Despite low regular season attendance and a ballpark that the commissioner of MLB has referred to as ‘a pit,’ the players in Oakland seem to love what is happening there.
Among those is Cuban-defector Yoenis Cespedes, who signed a four-year, $36 million contract in 2012. He had been offered longer contracts from other clubs, but ultimately chose Oakland. He’s happy with where he is and would ideally like to stay there a while longer.
I’m confident playing here, and the fans support me. Maybe Oakland offers $40 million and someone else offers $80 million. But if another team offers me the same money as Oakland, I’ll stay here.
Cespedes exploded on the scene in Oakland in 2012, finishing second in the Rookie of the Year voting to Mike Trout with a .292/.356/.505 slash line with 23 home runs and 82 RBI over 129 games, but slipped a little in 2013. He still put up a .240/.294/.442 line with 26 home runs, and despite a perceived knack for small injuries, played in more games than he did in 2012.