Yoenis Cespedes had a little extra bounce in his step on Saturday. For good reason—the A’s Cuban outfielder is about to be reunited with his family.
His family, including his mother, aunts and cousins, fled Cuba with him two years ago and had been staying in the Dominican Republic ever since. But legal problems after a fallout with a former representative had the slugger worried for his family’s safety there. The issue reportedly weighed heavily on Cespedes for the latter parts of last season and postseason (he still finished the season with a .292 average—tops on the team by far.)
Cespedes is expected to meet with his family soon in Miami, where they’ll arrive off a ship from Turks and Caicos. His 3-year-old son, Yoenis Jr., remains in Cuba with his son’s mother, but Cespedes hopes visits will be possible in the future.
More from the Chronicle’s Susan Slusser:
On Saturday, Céspedes was actually jumping up and down he was so elated. When asked how he felt, through interpreter Ariel Prieto, Céspedes told The Chronicle in English.
“My God, this has to be a weight off his shoulders,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said, smiling nearly as broadly as Céspedes. “It’s awesome. I got goose bumps when I heard.”
Cespedes is hitting a disappointing .158 this spring, with the finality of his family’s immigration ordeal possibly providing a distraction. But he says he should be returning his old self with everything behind him now—hopefully the old self that does bad things to baseballs.