Cespedes could leave US after meeting Marlins

Cespedes could leave US after meeting Marlins

Cespedes could leave US after meeting Marlins
After a meet-and-greet on Wednesday with Marlins officials and a tour of the club's new ballpark, Yoenis Cespedes could depart the U.S. without meeting with other teams.

Cespedes' agent, Adam Katz, told ESPN.com "nothing is scheduled for now" with regard to the 26-year-old outfielder talking to other clubs before he returns to the Dominican Republic, where he established temporary residency in January.

Cespedes had lunch on Wednesday with Marlins officials as MLB cameras captured footage for Showtime's reality series about the ballclub that is scheduled to air this summer.

"We had a good meeting," Katz told ESPN.com. "They made a very impressive presentation. Discussions are ongoing and productive. But there are several other teams in the mix."

Marlins president David Samson is optimistic that Miami is the front-runner to land the five-tool player.

"From our standpoint, we are aggressively negotiating a contract," Samson said. "But there is no way of knowing if we will be a high bidder."

Cespedes had narrowed his list of suitors to the Marlins, Tigers, Orioles, Cubs, White Sox and Indians. He can negotiate and agree to terms with a club, but -- despite being declared a free agent by Major League Baseball on Jan. 25 -- he cannot officially sign a contract until the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control gives its approval.

Katz remains hopeful that such a scenario will play out soon enough to allow Cespedes to arrive at Spring Training on time.

"I have never gone through this process before," Katz told MLB Network Radio earlier this week. "It is onerous and unpredictable. You just sort of have to breathe into it and not have too many expectations."

In a brief stint in winter ball in the Dominican Republic, Cespedes went 5-for-35 with a home run and 10 strikeouts. He hit .333 with 33 home runs and 99 RBIs in 90 games in Cuba during the 2010-11 campaign. He was Cuba's starting center fielder during the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

Zack Meisel is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @zackmeisel. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.