MILWAUKEE — The priority, Ruben Amaro Jr. said, was simply due diligence. But the Phillies had heard and seen enough of Yoenis Cespedes to warrant a private workout at the team's Dominican Republic complex Tuesday. And there was enough curiosity to send former GM and current advisor Pat Gillick to watch the Cuban defector with his own two eyes.
Whether the Phillies would even consider dolling out close to $30 million for a 26-year-old outfielder who has never seen major-league pitching is anyone's guess. If Cespedes will even become a free agent this winter is also unknown.
Nonetheless, Sal Agostinelli, the Phillies' international scouting supervisor, had seen Cespedes already. So had Mike Ondo, director of pro scouting. And they believed a closer look was necessary.
"We're doing our due diligence," Amaro said at the GM meetings in Milwaukee. "We wanted more info."
Numerous teams have gone the same route. The Miami Marlins and New York Yankees have already held private workouts with Cespedes. The Chicago Cubs have scheduled one, too.
It's likely the Phillies will opt for a known commodity over Cespedes. The Phillies have never paid more than $1.2 million for an international signing (Seung Lee) and that was 10 years ago. So a bidding war for another international player is unlikely.
Regardless, the Phillies thought it prudent enough to have some of their top talent evaluators watch Cespedes on Tuesday.
"He's definitely an interesting athlete," Amaro said.
Have a question? Send it to Matt Gelb's Mailbag.